So quickly a routine moment, where nothing was supposed to go wrong, can become an intense moment where we want to close our eyes and wait until it’s over.
I had a basketful of groceries, and an armful of things that weren’t on my list. A quick walk over to a small grocery store, to pick up what was needed that day. Along with the usual suspects, I’d picked up a small pack of salami. Three varieties in one pack!? Of course I want to try them! Little did I know what that little pack would mean.
We aren’t native Hungarian speakers – that would take a decade or more at least. But we’ve learned enough key phrases to get through the usual daily routines. I turned to the “Grocery Shopping” section in my brain, and was talking as needed to those working around me. I unloaded my basket quickly and efficiently, and hurried over to play first receiver as the TESCO employee would begin tossing my items toward me.
Then it happened. The unplanned salami package was scanned, and her computer made a noise in loud declaration that something was not acceptable with this bar code. She tried again, but whatever it was had already infected the motherboard and begun to sink the ship apparently. She looked at me in frustration and began saying things and asking things that were way outside of the pages of Hungarian I had available in my head. So I turned to the page labeled “Confusion”, and responded: “I’m sorry. I don’t understand. I don’t know. Thank you.” She tried to keep the ship from sinking, while 7 more people entered the line behind me – communicating non-verbally they were not happy with what I’d done to this moment of routine.
This was a moment of testing for me. I wanted to close my eyes. I wanted to just walk away. I’d exhausted my supply of words to address the situation. I knew I could come back later and try again – without the salami. I felt my face begin to sweat under the my covid-mask. I waited, and as silly as it sounds – asked God to give us all patience.
Finally, the woman helping me began to carry my items over to the nearby “U-Scan”, while her own computer was rebooting. The salami scanned fine here, and she stayed to ensure every item would scan – while those in line continue to huff and stare, obviously not happy to have their day paused. I was able to pay, thanked her for helping, and the world resumed.
It sounds so simple, but it brings us a reminder.
There are difficult and unexpected moments. There are times we want to close our eyes, or walk away. We are tempted to simply pretend that all would be better if we just “checked out”. But God shows us the power of Love becoming and remaining fully present – and as followers of Jesus, we are called to do the same in Him. Scripture doesn’t say, “Blessed are those who avoid conflict.” Or “Blessed are those who walk away when events upset the routine.” Jesus declares, “Blessed are the peace-makers.”
May we seek His face, and invite others to do the same as we stay fully present, remaining engaged in our world when it loses routine, and discover how God can offer His peace and healing through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is often easier said than done. If you want to know more about how we tangibly move forward, joining God in a Spirit-sourced life – why not check out Sarah’s new site where she’s diving deep into transformational practices that have benefitted Gods’ people for centuries.