The other day I ran into CVS to refill our supply of cough syrup. I wanted, and expected, to be in and out in a matter of minutes.
I found what I was looking for and made my way to the cashier. Just ahead of me, and stepping up to the register, was a little old lady. She proceeded to search her purse for her wallet, which contained her checkbook.
Do you remember those ads for mastercard or visa a couple of years ago, where everything flows along smoothly until someone wants to pay with a check? That’s exactly what this felt like. The cashier was perfectly polite. When the woman apologized to him for taking so long and holding up the line, he smiled warmly and said, “Oh, no, ma’am, you are just fine.”
This was not going to be an in-and-out trip for me. My visit to CVS esily tripled in duration. I felt pressure begin to rise inside me. I wanted so badly to help find the wallet, pull out the check, write it out for her, anything to help get this process going so I could pay and leave.
I must admit that a few comments that would have sounded very rude and inappropriate found their way into my mind. They did not, I’ll have you know, make it out of my mouth. No more than one even came close.
None of them escaped my mouth because I am aware that I am a preacher. We aren’t supposed to say things like that. We are supposed to model mercy and practice patience.
I also remembered thatm besides being a preacher, I am trying to folow Jesus everyday.
Sometimes, trying to follow Jesus actually helps me think the right things. Sometimes, like in this CVS, it at least helped me DO the right thing.
I’ve still got a long way to go, but I really, honestly, think I am thinking and acting a little more like Jesus now than I did a year ago.
But I’ve still got a long way to go.
Happy New Year! May you grow in your ability to think and act a little more like Jesus this year.