Monday, January 28, 2013

Think like Jesus - at the grocery store

     Armed with my list, I get my basket, take to the aisles, nab the items I came for, and try not to indulge in too much impulse buying. I don't think much about Jesus, or anything at all except replenishing my refrigerator and pantry, securing dinner, and nosing out a few bargains.

     Jesus wasn't a farmer, so like everybody else he stopped by little markets with his mother and then his friends, studied the produce, made his purchases and took the haul (meager as it may have been) back home. What was on his mind? He spoke directly with the farmer who'd grown the chickpeas. We miss that part - but might think about it. The food is in the cans, but what's canned is God's goodness, the long chain of rain, sunshine, fertile earth, a farmer's gritty determination, pickers (many of whom are the immigrants we debate politically!), factory folk, and shelf stockers. I might pause, think of God and all of them, and marvel with gratitude.

     Jesus had precious few choices. We have too many. How many types of cereal does humanity really need? Why is it Lisa sends me to get something simple like stuffing mix, but then there are a dozen types of mix, and multiple brands of each type? My temperature rises - but I might calm down, and humbly confess to God how spoiled and picky we have all become, and plead for mercy, and some simplicity.

     I might, as I make my way down the long aisles, remember those who have few or no choices, or no food at all. I've had Third World guests before, and they aren't sure whether to laugh, moan or weep when they survey our stores. I can pray for them - and I can also develop simple habits, like if I get a can of beans, I get another can to drop off at church.

     Other grocery store questions loom. Can I be patient with the shopper who thoughtlessly crashes her basket into mine? Can I be kind to the harried checkout person? or grateful to the bagger? Paper or plastic? or those green bags Lisa gently suggests I use? Lord Jesus: I need some help in the grocery store!