Yesterday was not a good day. Starting with the sick doggie (who is better, but still not back to normal), things went south before I’d even had my coffee (which I’m back on, obviously). I’ll spare you the details of my cruddy day and jump right to the final straw.
I’d already dealt with dog issues (literally), financial issues (also literally, of course), and a holiday-is-coming-up-crowd at the grocery store when I found myself standing in the WRONG line at the grocery store check out. With all of my groceries unloaded onto the conveyor belt I was stuck behind a woman who was trying to pay for a few items through the WIC program, which I have no problem with and am thrilled that what appeared to be a grandmother raising her young grandchildren has access to. Except that while all the check-out counters around me were either checking out their customers very quickly or were absolutely empty with no one in line, I had to stand there for – I kid you not – 15 minutes while three different grocery store employees went looking for one item after another for this woman because the products she had selected didn’t qualify for WIC – once again no problem with WIC or this woman’s use of the program, I promise.
The problem that began to get to me was that no one was acknowledging me at all. You know how the story’s supposed to go, right? I stand there patiently and the check out person looks at me and says nicely, apologetically, sincerely, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience ma’am. It should just be a minute more,” and I say sincerely, nicely, agreeably, “No problem. I ‘m not in a big hurry,” because truly I wasn’t in a big hurry and truly I am a nice person who is usually pretty patient in such instances.
But I’d had a bad day already and no one was even looking my way to acknowledge how
ridiculously graciously patient I was being.
This is when I began to feel things heating up a little beneath the collar. But, because my scripture for the morning had been something to the effect of “I will guard my ways and not use my tongue as a weapon of destruction,” (my paraphrase of Psalm 39:1) I was determined not to say anything that would be harmful, hurtful or plain out ugly. Tall order at this point, but I stood there doing my best to look pleasant, be pleasant and not huff and puff. Huffing and puffing is my usual “I’m not saying a word but I’m letting you know how unhappy I am” tactic.
Finally, when the cashier left the register to go find the woman some bread to replace her flour tortilla wraps because….well I won’t go into why… I began to put my groceries back into my cart…nicely, oh so nicely, so I could wheel them over to another check out line. I had to muster up such restraint not to slam my canned foods into the buggy and not to throw my bag of potatoes into the cart and not to stomp off! Still, 15 minutes into this ordeal, no one had even acknowledged this whole inconvenience. That’s all it would have taken, an acknowledgment, and I would have certainly said my, “No problem” and I could have felt the heat escape from me like a burst of steam and all would have been fine. But no…
So I nicely (really…I did it very nicely) took my groceries to another check out line, got out quickly, carted my purchases to the car and drove off.
Then I cried. Profusely. All the way home.
This morning I went back to Psalm 39 to see where I’d gone wrong. I’d kept my mouth shut like the scripture said, but the longer I kept my words to myself the more I’d heated up. Was that supposed to happen? If I keep my tongue from lighting everyone within earshot on fire am I just going to end up being the one who burns up with anger? That doesn’t sound like a win/win solution to me. There’s got to be a better way.
Sure enough, there is. Psalm 39:1 through 3 says:
Cheryl @ Moms Sharpening Moms says
Kay, I knew as soon as you brought it up that the answer to your enlightenment would also be found in that same scripture, and not because I'm a smarty pants either. It's just I have had this happen to me personally on a couple of different occasions. Once where I've not read far enough, or chose to interpret the words to tweak the situation, and another time when someone admonished me with scripture but were missing the true meaning of it.
I purposely try to only go to the grocery store when I have ample time because I will always get in the slow line, not on purpose, but it just happens. Thanks for your great words today and I'm so thankful you are enjoying the blessings of it as well
Its kind of like…Now, for the rest of the story…God never leaves us hanging, does he.
Sometimes we forget to live abundantly, because we struggle with just trying to not be bad, instead of living joyfully. Your story is a good reminder.
Thanks for joining my blog, I have a lot of fun with it! and, yes I'll throw you a party anytime!
Beth E. says
Oh, Kay…I looked over my shoulder to see if you were standing there! Girl, you've got my number! Thank you for this post…a reminder I definitely needed.
I had to chuckle a little, because you were also shopping on the 1st of the month. That, along with it being a holiday, makes for horrible crowds in the stores! I'm heading out tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. to try to beat those crowds AND keep my cool. 😉
You are precious to me, Kay. I'm so glad our paths have crossed.
Blessings to you this Easter!
(Praying for your little dog. What did the vet say?)
Lisa Lucy says
I love your authenticity and transparency. You are so real, which is yet another reason why I adore you. I mess up daily, and keep praying for things to go differently. I get humbled VERY often, and that helps me keep from getting too big for my britches. I am a fragile little porcelain doll, just waiting to crack… except for the grace of God, who strengthens me! xo
Good morning, Kay. You write (and speak) so very well! I am encouraged by your kindness, openness and "realness". I could see myself in the same situation through what you wrote and glad I didn't go to the grocery store yesterday, but I do have to go today for a few things. I will just have to say to myself, "thank you, Jesus, for Fry's grocery store, and all of the available fresh fruits and vegetables" to maintain my smile. 🙂
Crying is dangerous while driving. I'm glad you made it home safely. I once had to say good-bye to my husband for a 6-month departure at the Frankfurt airport, and then walk through the entire airport back to the car garage, find my car, and then drive home – all while in tears; driving home was not very easy in the pouring rain, too. I'll never do that again. I guess I have focused in on your cry home yesterday. I hope and pray you're feeling much better today. 🙂