Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Slice of Humble Pie

This is a story about something that happened last week to me and how God uses tiny things in every day life to teach us how to be more like him.

Last week I did my monthly shopping. I make out my month long menu, then figure out what things to get at Costco (meat, veggies, paper goods) Winco (grains, non-perishables), Trader Joe's (organic produce, munchies, dairy) and Target/Wal Mart (school supplies, misc. stuff). And lest you think we drink spoiled milk or eat 3 week old apples, I do shop weekly for perishable groceries.

Well I wanted to get Winco and Trader Joe's done on Friday morning so I could meet a friend for coffee in the afternoon. We were doing major speed shopping and so far keeping up. The kids are great helpers (usually)....they get things that I forget, push the cart, try to sneak candy into the cart....all that helpful stuff. We pull up to the checkout with my full cart and I see that I am on track to beat my record of 35 minutes in the store. My helpers pile the stuff on the belt and just as the last item gets on, I notice that the couple ahead of me are stalled. It seems they forgot their debit card. I try not to roll my eyes, but I am totally thinking, "What idiots! You come to the store and are buying even more than me, and you forget your debit card??" So we wait. And wait. While they wait for a manager to come and clear their transaction. And then the lady tries to use her home business check so they have to call another manager for permission. The checkout lady keeps apologizing to me and I am half smiling and saying it is OK, but inside I am starting to boil. Why can't they just pull over and let me speed through?? I am late!! Better yet, I am thinking, don't be a silly fool and forget your debit card! They get permission to use the check, finish everything up and FINALLY it is my turn.

So I walk up to the little shelf and pull out my wallet and open it.....and yup, you guessed it, no debit card! I don't remember this happening to me before (except once when my wallet was stolen) and of course Winco doesn't take credit cards and I don't carry my checkbook. Right then and there I saw my foolish pride and impatience. 30 seconds earlier I would have never thought that I would ever make such a silly mistake like not having my debit card with me, but I tore that wallet apart and no card appeared. So now it is my turn to look silly while people wait behind me for the manager. I joked about it with the checkout lady, (I am sure she was sick of us both) we bagged up our stuff, took the receipt and left it all at customer service. Then headed home for my debit card. So much for a fast shopping morning. I did get everything done in time....we live only 5 minutes from the store and it didn't take that long, but this sure was a good lesson in humility.

Sometimes the Lord does this to me; showing me in such obvious ways how I fail. And how little mercy I can have for others around me. But I am so thankful for these lessons! They grow me. Slowly, ever so slowly it seems sometimes, God is working on me. I have learned to look for the lessons in my trials; sometimes, like that day it is pretty obvious but other days I am not sure where the lesson is and can get pretty upset about not seeing any purpose in my suffering. But we have the promise that He is giving us trials for our good and for His glory.

'And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called
according to his purpose.'
Romans 8:28

Postscript: Where was that debit card?? I had gone to Costco the day before and with the craziness of 2 carts, an insanely busy store and then keeping track of the receipt at the end, I had put my debit card in my pocket. :-)

7 comments:

  1. I can SO relate to this, Charlotte! I find myself doing little things like this a lot. It actually happened to me the other day with Jason. I went on and on about how HE lost something in the house and I would NEVER lose it because I put things back where they belong. Turns out, we found it, in the wrong spot and guess who put it there?! Me :)

    Ugh.

    They are good lessons in humility and I'm so thankful to God for teaching me so graciously and not as I deserve.

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  2. This happens with the kids too! I can't remember the specific example, but I remember one time getting really irritated with something they did and not 5 minutes went by and I accidentally did the same thing.

    And that is so true....thank you Lord that you don't give me what I deserve!

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  3. Oh man, sorry to chuckle, but that is really a funny story! I have had things like this happen to me too. :) AND, I STILL struggle with being patient with people who forget things. Even though I have gone shopping at Costco and didn't have any way to pay... and have bought a TON of stuff at Safeway because of coupons, only to find out the coupons weren't valid until the next day... etc. etc. I have done my fair share of holding up the line. And yet still I get irritated. Thanks for the good reminder Charlotte!

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  4. OH...I don't like stories where I can see it coming... ;) Thanks for the good reminder.
    I was wondering if you could share more about your shopping strategy.
    I have an excel spreadsheet of my grocery list per store (my store list is pretty much like yours though what I by at each varies). Do you have such a list? Do you have a month worth of meals planned and you repeat them each month? Do you buy all Org produce? Anything you would be willing to share, I would appreciate.

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  5. I guess it is good that I can laugh at this too...I really try to find the joy in daily things. Thanks, Krista!

    Rebecca, I would love to share what I do for my meal planning. I do have a master menu and shopping list that I go off of. I'll plan a blog post sometime soon about grocery shopping and menu planning....

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  6. Um. OK so this is what you were referring to in the conversation yesterday with Nancy. I was SO lost but was too embarrased to say so.

    So there is MY humble pie.

    And BTW, funny story and I am certain I can tell many many more like it but have conveniently forgotten all about them. HA!

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  7. Oh Dawn, we all have our humble pie moments. And some of them I am thankful to have forgotten too.:-)

    Had a great time at your place yesterday...you did a great job teaching!

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