I had a grump in Costco. It started in the carpark when other drivers showed a complete lack of common sense and courtesy. It continued in the store when the girl cutting up smoked cheddar samples was obviously in a bad mood and made several of us wait for the sliver of tasty cheesy goodness. To be fair she failed at serving but I failed at patience. At the checkout, I was complaining that shopping with Mark filled my cart as badly as when the kids came with me. Then one of my bananas was split and the packer offered to go change the package. We paid and waited. And waited. And waited. Mark wondered if she had gone to Africa and when I checked with the cashier she wondered if she was growing them. All in all, it was a disgruntled day capped off by drivers on the way out even worse than the ones when we arrived.
I apologised to Mark, thanked the banana getter, smiled patiently at impatient car parkers and repented of being snippy with the cheese girl. It was a huge sigh and vow never to go shopping at that time again. Then this morning I was having those few minutes reflection with God and started to write about being a witness.
I have faith that God will use me to touch those I love for His glory. I have faith He will complete the work He began and that He is able to save. But I realised that too often I take far too much responsibility. I feel that if I don’t present absolutely a perfect witness then they are not going to ‘get saved’. That if I fail then their eternal fate is in my hands…
You ever felt like that?
God spoke gently but firmly and reminded me it’s His job to save people. His job to bring them into a relationship with him. I am just a helper along the way. In fact, I am a bit like a bag packer at a checkout – the shopper and the cashier can manage perfectly well without me I am an added benefit, not a necessity – and if I am not careful I can even be a hindrance.
I absolutely ought to watch my life and be the best I can, I should be doing that even if no-one is watching but what impacts people, what impresses them isn’t my perfection (if such a thing could even exist) but my life being changed and transformed day by day. It’s my life amid the trials and tribulations, my life showing trust in God despite what’s around me, despite flaws and failings. It’s my life with a joy that defies understanding. It’s admitting faults easily and not brooding. It’s the constant onward walk of a flawed human being loved by a perfect merciful God.
There’s hope in that, hope that people can recognise and desire even though they might appear disinterested or judgemental. But the most important thing is to love without pressure. To love because that’s what God does without any ulterior motive. people can detect that so easily – if I love/help/care because I want them ‘saved’ then am I really loving them?