It was just a quick stop to the grocery store. Or so I thought.
Carrots – check.
Chicken – check.
Milk – check.
Free cookie for the persistent son – check.
Then we headed to the check out.
At first the conversation was token.
How are you?
Good, how are you?
Fine, thank you. Do you have your points card?
Then it kept going.
Beautiful day out there, isn’t it?
Yes, it really is.
Are you having a good day?
I am, thanks for asking.
How’s your day going?
Then came the unexpected.
Hey little guy, are you having a great day?
Yes sir, I am. I got a free cookie.
Would you also like a sticker?
Sure! Thank you!
When he handed me my receipt I gave him a big thanks for being such a pleasant person, “Your happiness is so contagious, thank you!” He smiled, said thanks and we parted ways.
I was just about back to my vehicle when I told my son we needed to go back.
Did you forget something?
I walked up to customer service and asked to speak to a manager. When the manager walked over with a cautious expression on her face, I could tell she was bracing herself to be criticized or berated with hostility. As I started to speak about my experience I could physically see her posture change.
I just wanted to tell you what a good job… *Her shoulders straightened*
What a pleasant man… *Her back relaxed*
To go above and beyond like that… *Her eyes widened*
His happiness carries… *A smile spread across her face*
“You know what I’m gonna do?” she said, “Not only am I going to tell Mark the nice things you have said about him, but I’m also going to tell our entire leadership team that someone, for once, had something nice to say. Thank you for taking the time to be ENcouraging instead of DIScouraging. You have no idea how rare that is.”
When I got back in the vehicle, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt my heart with this truth:
How many moments do we ignore, or avoid, or miss because we label our lives and ourselves as “just?” It’s “just” a quick grocery trip. I’m “just” a teacher. It’s “just” a day of errands. I’m “just” a mom. It’s “just” another Monday.
Every day provides an opportunity to practice the presence of God… to shine his light bright… to smile… to engage in unlikely conversation… to give people encouragement… to surprise them with positivity… to spread love… to teach the younger generation what it means to look people in the eyes and tell them they’re doing a good job.
There’s this terrible notion going around in our Christian circles that says doing big things for God needs to be the flashy, seen and important. But I think the biggest opportunities to serve God are when we say yes to the “just” moments.
For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ -Acts 13:47