Never Again

Have you ever told yourself that you will not do something again– something that didn’t work or that drove you crazy… or that was just too difficult? We all feel like that sometimes. Today I said just that.

I will never…

And I mean never go back to a particular store. So there!

I went on the impossible search for a bathing suit that would make me look thinner, was not too flashy or cut too low and the list was a page long. I was on a hunt and search and finally found one– just one, mind you, that was not perfect but I was exhausted by then. Went up to the counter to pay for it and the clerk told me it was on sale, however, if I was to get the sale price then I would have to pick it up tomorrow. I left it there and as I was walking away, I heard the next person in line say, “it’s 4 pm so the sale starts now and I can take my merchandise home, right?” “Yes.” But when I went back he told me that I was 5 minutes early when I purchased mine. What??! The story goes on but suffice to say I ended up going back the next day and followed the signs to where my purchase could be picked up. Waited in line 15 minutes and was told to go to another line. By the time I picked up my purchase I was ready to go to a dressing room, put the bathing suit and prance around the store. That would scare everyone for sure. Bad idea. Glad I didn’t do that. But what I did do was say,

“I will never go back.”

This is my purchase. The number was on my bag and I’m thinking it was the number of hours it took me

Now for the God story. Yes, there is one in here somewhere. There always is when we look for God everywhere. I was learning patience. Next stop was Trader Joes and I locked my keys in the car. My husband came and rescued me after I sat and sat and sat and then it happened. The Shepherd’s voice…

Joanne, do you think you are representing me well today? Do you think that the salesperson at the store deserved your snarly attitude? What if you had smiled and said something kind? 

Oh no. Patience was not exhibited today. And loving kindness was nowhere to be found. Not by them and not by me. But I could have been kind. Jesus was kind. He cared. And I bet he never said…

I will never go back.

I bet He said. I will go back. I will go wherever my Father sends me. I will go to the lost, the broken, the needy. Now I bet you are thinking the same thing I was thinking. But He was not going to buy a bathing suit (just trying to add some humor). Jesus was patient but bold. He was compassionate and kind and I bet He never said never.

So today, I challenge each of us to remember that wherever we go, even if we are having a bad day, we represent Christ. Our flesh cries out when we think we are wronged and we are impatient. BUT GOD… Yes, there is always a BUT GOD…

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