I needed to go to work very early one morning as I had an extremely hectic day with many meetings and appointments. Prior to leaving for work on this particular morning, I did not have the extra time that I normally spend to make my lunch. When lunch-time rolled around I was starved and so I stepped away from the office to purchase some food. I drove to a local deli, one that I would frequent if I needed to grab a quick bite to eat. I needed to be very fast with my food purchase and promptly return to work.
As I walked through the doors to the deli, I was immediately taken back as to how long the line-up was to order and to pay for food. In the past, I would have become upset about the number of people in line and continued to stew about it the entire time I would have waited. However, God was really dealing with me about my hurriedness and how I react and how I treat others when I am in a hurry. I decided to take a long deep breath and Just Say It! by asking for joy, peace and favor from God.
When I started to Just Say It! to God with a short prayer claiming peace and favor, a dark haired woman approached the line-up, and came and stood in front of me instead of behind me. Essentially she budded in line! Once again, in the past, someone acting in this manner would have evoked an impatient judgmental response from me. Instead of negatively reacting, I decided to Just Say It! by continuing to pray and asking for peace and favor from God. As I was praying, I glanced around and saw that a young employee had noticed the woman asserting herself in front of me in the line
No sooner had I finished my prayer, than this same young employee opened up an additional check-out and made a summoning gesture with her hands directing me towards her. I was thrilled and quickly went to the front of her line and proceeded to order and pay for my food. Several other customers followed and lined-up behind me.
I decided to say a kind word to the employee who had opened up the extra check-out line! I promptly responded and said, “thank you very much for taking the time to open up this extra line. You were so kind to ask me to come forward, you have no idea how you have made my day! I am in such a hurry today and you have helped to ease my busy state.” The young employee beamed from ear to ear.
After I had ordered and paid, I decided that I needed to take the time to ask to speak with the manager of the deli and to Just Say It! once again by letting the manager know how appreciative I was regarding the initiative taken by the employee who had opened up the extra check-out line. I also spoke with the manager regarding how kind her employee was as she served me. The manager and I discussed how employees such as this young woman are so valuable to an organization. This young woman is the type of employee that more organizations need, as they truly demonstrate that they care and are sensitive to the needs of customers. As well, this young employee saw a need and took initiative to open up an extra line before she had to be instructed by her manager.
As I was driving back to work, this entire situation at the deli caused me to reflect on four things: to always be less hurried and anxious; to always demonstrate a responsible work ethic; to always clothe myself in the character of Christ; and to always love the unlovable.
The character of Christ is found in Colossians 3:12, “therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (NIV). As Christians, we need to remember to constantly clothe ourselves with the character of Christ so that the world sees the difference in our behaviors such as how we speak and act with one another. We need God’s strength to help us to love others as He first loved us!
On my drive back to work, I decided to Just Say It! to God by thanking and praising Him, as He gave me the strength to clothe myself with the character of Christ.
Questions to reflect upon:
- If you are an employee in an organization:
- Do you take initiative when you see a need?
- Do you help others when you can?
- Or do you ignore people’s needs?
- When people seemingly mistreat you, how do you respond? Are you impatient? Or are you understanding and try to resolve the conflict?
- Do you try to clothe yourself in the character of Christ with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Scripture to reflect upon:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men” (Colossians 3:23, NIV).
Prayer to reflect upon:
Thank you God for continuing to shape our character to reflect your image. Help us to continue to Just Say It! in a positive and kind manner to all people, even the people who are the most difficult to love!
Did you Just Say It! to God today? What were the results?
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father Which Art in Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will Be Done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this Day our Daily Bread
And Forgive Us our Trespasses
As We Forgive Those who Trespass Against Us
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
But Deliver Us From Evil
For Thine is the Kingdom
And the Power and the Glory
Forever and Forever
(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV).