Call me a geek, but I love me some Costco.
Sometimes I go with my boys as a treat date just to eat ice cream.
Sometimes we go as a family to indulge in hotdogs and to score a cheap dinner.
Sometimes I go by myself, for fun (geek alert), to scope out birthday gift ideas, land some sweet savings, and peruse the book aisle.
But mostly I go to store up groceries. Ah yes, groceries – groceries that hardly stay in my fridge and barely stay on my shelves. (Heaven help me when they’re teenagers).
While fighting the urge to buy unnecessary items during my last Costco run, I had an epiphany. I heard this gentle sentence of insight floating through my mind: “What goes in your cart goes in your home. What goes in your home goes in your body. What goes in your body is what fuels your life. The choice is yours.”
The irony is that I felt the insight had nothing to do with groceries and everything to do with Luke 6:45.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The words “stored up” are so applicable to Costco, am I right? Costco is THE place to stockpile the goods. But. Costco is also the place where deception is blurry. In between aisles and aisles of the good stuff – the stuff I really do need – therein lies samples and samples of stuff I know I don’t really need but I somehow leave with anyway. Like jelly bellies. Darn those little things. They are little devils dressed in cute colors of delicious flavor.
No matter how hard I try to be strong, I can’t even tell you how many times I have left Costco with more than I intended to get.
But how similar is Costco to that of our Christian journeys?
We walk through aisles and aisles of life filling our carts with things we’ve convinced ourselves we really do need. All around us are tables of samples telling us we “need” to try, then buy – a new car, a cooler wardrobe, more vacation time, fresher products, a trendy new do, perfect kids, a bigger home. The pressure is never ending. And without stopping to actually look at our lists, we wind up filing our carts and storing our hearts with more and more clutter – stuff Christ never said we would need to live a purposeful life.
It’s only upon reflecting back in hindsight that we find ourselves living lives we never intended to live.
Life is like a Costco-trip challenge.
We must continuously stop, look away from the samples, break free from the distractions, glance down at our lists, and listen to those gentle sentences of insight reminding us that: what goes in your cart goes in your home. What goes in your home goes in your body (mind, heart and soul). What goes in your body is what fuels your life. And what fuels your life can either be healthy energy to live a Christ-honoring life, or stressful pressure-filled energy to live a culture-gratifying one. The choice is yours.
P.S. I’m betting your next Costco trip won’t be the same. 😉