“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace and love”
Lines. I am not a big fan of lines. It doesn’t matter what kind. Lines of traffic, lines at amusement parks, lines waiting to get into a movie. Just not a fan.
The ones I like the least are the lines at the grocery store. Maybe you are with me in regard to this? Do you scout out which line has the least amount of people in it? Have you ever “cart-drag” raced someone who catches your eye as you both eye the same open line? Ever been frustrated when the person ahead of you takes what seems to you to be an inordinate amount of time unloading their groceries? Or wants to divide up their bill? Cannot remember their pin? Paying with a check? Various payment methods for the same order? The cashier who is watching the clock more than scanning groceries? Stopping to sip their drink every few items? Do you get the point? Not a big fan of the grocery line.
Grocery lines used to frustrate me. They used to make me crazy. Put me in a bad mood. And all this happened before I even paid the bill! I would get cranky. I would feel my blood pressure rise. I would begin to crack my neck and act as if I was in pain. Shake my head. Add your own nuance if you are playing along.
Then, one day, I realized that I was putting up all this fuss over a grocery line. I was angered at being inconvenienced by maybe 5-10 minutes occasionally during my frequent visits. And I realized a harsh truth. It wasn’t anyones problem but mine. Since I like to eat, trips to the grocery store are sort of a necessity. And I could spend my time and energy fretting about and being miserable or realize that I had control over how I was feeling and acting. To be honest, I did not like the choices I was making.
I decided, from then on, to spend my time in line praying for those I see. For the cashier who looks to be having a bad day. For the forgotten pin guy. For the check writer. For the snail slow cart unloader. It did not matter that they were nameless people to me. That I may never see them again. That I did not know their story. I just stand their quietly praying for them and wishing wishing them well in whatever life happens to be throwing at them that day.
Guess what? My blood pressure stays low. My mood gets better. My demeanor is more pleasant. And believe me, when you look the way I do, people appreciate it when I do not appear to be upset or in “glare” mode. Ha ha. All because I realized that my time and my actions are mine to dictate. And that God calls his children to be instruments of his peace and love, not grouches.
I’m still and not a big fan of lines. But the way I stand in them sure has changed? Give it a try. I might change you. Be an instrument of God’s peace and love through prayer or whatever you might come up with.