In our home, HATE is a four-letter-word. And any of you who know me well know how I feel about crude language and four-letter-words. I HATE them. (Yes, I realize I just used the word hate again.) And apparently I’ve taught my children it is okay to use the word “hate”. You know why? Because I say it about 200 times when I’m walking through Wal-Mart. Then they use it at home and I have to eat my words and repent of my hatred of that cursed place.
Honesty, y’all. I really dislike that store, and every time I go there I find my mood changes and I am an angry woman. So, you might ask, why do you go there? Because I haven’t found a way to remain within our budget for food and household items and NOT go there, so I do it and I grumble. I already spend way too much time researching deals and coupons and best places to get what… to the point that I question if I’m even being frugal with my time.
So, I walk through Wal-Mart, and if I’m having a “good” Wal-Mart experience (is that even possible?) I grumble under my breath, but some days it’s all out huffing and puffing over the disorganization, the lack of the food item I’m looking for, the poor lighting, the rude employees, etc. And then I hear my daughter singing this as loud as she can throughout the store:
“Dooooo EVerything without comPLAINing.
DOooooo EVerything without ARguing.
So that you may become PLAMEless and pure
Children of GOD. (ba dum bum bum)”
You would think my first reaction would be to stop and think and listen to God’s Word. Instead I rise up with wanting to complain that God actually put that verse in the Bible, and then I complain that I taught it to my daughter, and then I complain that she started singing it in the store.
Then God’s Spirit speaks.
“Do everything without complaining.”
I look at the shelves stocked with food items too numerous to count, and I think about our little Mario, our Compassion Child, who gets grapes for Christmas and thinks it’s a delicacy. I see clothing in every size and color and style, aisles upon aisles of shoes and I think of children in Africa who wear no shoes. There are bedding and blankets and towels galore, and I think of Appalachia or inner cities here in America where children have no blankets to warm them at night, some even sleeping on the streets.
And I shut my mouth.
I close my eyes.
I listen to God’s Word lisped from my daughter’s lips.
When I reopen them I still don’t like Wal-Mart. I never will.
But I view it differently.
And I open my mouth to sing with her.
I stop complaining and I start giving thanks.
God provides so much more than I need. We have a beautiful home with beds and blankets and food on the table and wood for the fire and a huge yard to run and play in. We have cars and schools and churches and Bibles.
We have no need.
Except for Him to open my eyes and change my heart to see Him.
And sometimes He even uses Wal-Mart to teach me.
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