The other day I was at Walmart. (Imagine a big, lumbersome sigh after that sentence!)
I must confess it’s not my favorite place to shop—especially since our small town store is being turned into a supercenter. Yay, us! I won’t go into all that ticks me off when I’m inside the doors of the world’s largest retailer. It would be ugly and a waste of your good time, since many of you know what I’m talking about!
Anyway, since I had to dodge and weave with many a thoughtless, trance-like Walmart shopper, not to mention, Walmart employee on my trip through those grand halls, I was in no mood!
Finally, I’d made it to the check-out line and found myself waiting rather impatiently for the mother in front of me to notice that her kids were playing rather obtrusively and not allowing me to get to the conveyor belt …
Isn’t that special! (Picture the Church Lady here—if you’re old enough to remember him/her!)
Suddenly it hit me!
No, it wasn’t the pack of gum that the little tyke was tossing around in the air, hoping his mom would notice his great athletic skills—which, by the way, she never did!
What hit me was a feeling of frustration … a feeling of being inconvenienced … a feeling of having it up to here! But more than that, I was smacked with a new, other-worldly realization.
This time Christ wanted to remind me of my spiritual progress.
It was like He said, “Beth, this is an example of how well you’re doing spiritually. If the little frustrations of Walmart test your patience, then perhaps you’re not abiding fully in me … perhaps you have some spiritual fruit that needs to sprout and grow. Perhaps you have farther to go!”
In an instant it was me who needed to make a change! It was me who was falling down on the job!
Way to bring things into focus!
I’m going to remember this little method of measurement for my progress. If I’m irritated quickly, feeling entitled to better than I’ve been given, I’m going to remind myself that I have farther still to go and refocus my eyes on Jesus.
How about you? What do you use to measure your spiritual progress?
What issues trip you up the most or the quickest?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” –Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
Thankfully I’ve been leading a small group from my church through Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Unglued. I really do think it’s helping! If you’re interested in getting her book, CBD has a limited time $5 deal here.
Photo by Walmart
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