This weekend I experienced what is becoming a more regular occurrence in my life: Black Friday.
Lorie's family love this day. It's fun. Things are cheap. We party all night, and find some great deals in the process. I, however, hate shopping. With a passion. Years of walking through malls with my mother has calloused me.
But I try to make the best of it. When we were shopping I tried to be pleasant to the people working (after all, would you want to leave Thanksgiving dinner early to work an eight hour shift?), be nice to other shoppers, even have a little conversation while waiting in line. It almost worked...
There was one line I remember. I showed up and there was only one person in line in front of me. She immediately made it known she was first and to get behind her. Okay, no problem. Then the employee started checking people out from the register by our line. She laid into him, she was here first. If anyone showed up she scowled at them. It was so bad that after she paid and left we made a comment to the salesperson, who informed us he lived across the road from her, has for thirty years, and she is just as mean at home. The kids in the neighborhood can't stand her, they've been yelled at enough.
It's kind of sad, but it's a choice she made, likewise how we treated her was a choice we made. Too often we seem to think there are other factors, but really there aren't. In this season of Christmas, in the hustle and bustle of shopping, waiting in line, traffic, fighting over that toy, stress, the constant running around, if in all this you are waiting until you feel loving to be nice, sorry, it ain't gonna happen. We have to make the choice to be kind and considerate, even despite how we're feeling sometimes.
Paul writes in Philippians: I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgement, so that you will be able to choose what is best. (Phil. 1:9-10, GNT). We have to choose to do what is best. We choose to be kind while shopping. We choose to treat others with love. We even choose to share Christ's love this season.