If you're anything like me when you're under pressure or in a hurry due to schedules or deadlines, you're completely flustered and well, all over the place! You don't exactly think straight or realistically. Today, I was running errands in a mad dash because I had an appointment that I had to get to. My mother (as kind as she was) was watching my son for a few hours so I had pretty ample time to try and get these things done without too much delay. I got to one store in and out.... then it was off to the last store to make an exchange and dash out to get to my appointment on time with even time to spare. Or so I thought.
As I'm standing at the cashier line, I'm waiting for an available cashier. I waited for, I don't know, five minutes. Finally, a manager flagged me down to the very end of all of the cashiers to what looked like a very homely young man. It was pretty obvious that he was a little shy and lacked a certain amount of self confidence. So, in light of that, I tried to be extra nice to him even though I was really in a hurry to get out of there. He explained that he had to refund my initial purchase and then I would have to 'purchase' the new item in order to exchange... so I agreed. But then he paused, then stalled and looked very puzzled. Clearly, something was not right. I waited with anxiety to find out what the problem was.... he looked at me with a slightly fearful face and stated that he 'pushed the wrong button'. Yes, I'll admit, my first thought was 'WHAT? Are you kidding me?? C'mon, I'm so in a hurry here!'. But did I say this? Umm, of course not! Did you think I was that rude? Really, I'm not.
Instead, I felt as though Jesus was reminding me of his compassion and love. To remember that this young man has a story. A story that I didn't know and that I should not punish him due to my own agenda. I felt convicted - very convicted that my first instinct was to give him a rather annoyed look and be incredibly snubbish to the fact that he clearly had no idea what he was doing and I was going to be late for my appointment. Friends, I had to repent for that level of thinking. I had no business thinking or feeling that way. It wasn't his fault I had this appointment to get to in 10 minutes. It wasn't his fault that my patience level plummeted when he hit the wrong key on his register. No...... and I knew better.
How often do we think or feel so selfishly because of someone else's mistakes or downfalls when we can earnestly practice compassion and love. Is selfishness part of our beauty? No, it is not in our DNA as women after God's own heart. Love, compassion, grace and mercy, however are. These are the qualities that God desires for us to practice daily as his daughters and as his beloved. Take a step back from your first instinct and take the road less traveled..... love like you've never loved.