Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
I did a day of errands while it lightly snowed the other day. I dropped my wife off at the kidney dialysis center and then went to deposit a well-timed check into the credit union. Solvency at last!!! No, not that big of a check, but it helped. Then I drove about 30 miles to the warehouse store. My first stop was to get gas.
There was a woman in a small jeep, smallest thing that they make, behind me who finished filling her jeep before I was finished. She got her receipt and then screamed hysterically for the attendant to help her get around my SUV. I had not given her enough room. The attendant assured her that she had plenty of room to get around me, an entire traffic lane, designed for that purpose. But the woman insisted that he help her. He told her to turn to the right. She did that, but once in the other lane, she turned back toward my SUV. The attendant told her to keep turning to the right. Her “turns” were so small, they were hardly noticeable. At this point, I was wondering if I should forget filling the tank and just drive away before she hit the car. The woman corrected her assault on the open lane three times. She finally screamed, “Please, help me! Please, help me!! There is not enough room!!! I’m going to hit this other car!!!! Please, help me!!!!! There is not enough room!!!!!!” The attendant said, “Ma’am there is four feet between you and the curb if you would just turn to the right. Oh, never mind, Ma’am. You have missed his side mirror. You can drive away.” And then she did, at blinding speed, compared to the snail crawl while she screamed hysterically and lost five pounds just in the tears that she shed.
In all the hysteria, the attendant never raised his voice. I sense that I have seen an angel. No human being could resist saying “something” either saying something wrong or with some change in emotion. Okay, angel or robot. But he did look human. I’m going to have to write to the wholesale warehouse store to suggest him for an accommodation, above and beyond the call of duty – in fact, impossible to comprehend if you did not see it!!!!!!!
Did you notice how I added an exclamation point each time the situation became more intense? And by the way, after three corrections in her steering to the right she missed my side mirror by less than an inch. I had to check to see if she might have rubbed some of the road salt off. This time of year, road salt adds a quarter inch to the width of your car. And, having finished pumping gasoline, I could have left behind the woman, but I was afraid she would be frightened by my presence, and then back into me since she missed me the first time.
But picture it. She missed by car by less than an inch when she had enough room on the other side of the car for two water buffalo to stand side-by-side, laughing at her. Sorry, I don’t know if water buffalo can actually laugh.
Beware! She is not the only one. There may be one on a road near you.
Then inside the warehouse store, I met a couple that was not at Sunday school last Sunday. I teased them, and they gave me their excuses. But then the husband also needed medicines and followed me to the pharmacy. As I was getting medicine for my wife, I heard this guy talking to the pharmacy tech over my shoulder. “Watch this guy! You can’t trust him!! He’s my Sunday school teacher!!! You know what they say about Sunday school teachers!!!!” The pharmacy tech asked if he always gave me a hard time. Then the husband turned to the other pharmacy tech and said, “Hey, I want to commend you. I actually saw you doing some work the other day.” He turned back to my tech, “Yeah, I saw him stock a shelf. I wish I had my camera.” The young lady was laughing too hard to continue checking me out.
See! That’s what happens when you skip Sunday school. You wake up three days later thinking you are a comedian.
After buying a few things in the warehouse store that my wife had on the shopping list and a couple of things that I added, I then went to the grocery store. There were no incidents. I found everything on my wife’s shopping list, but then as I started to place the items in the back of the SUV, with a strong flurry of snow still flying around, I took extra care to ensure that the milk was propped upright in a cup holder and that the bread would not get crushed by something shifting. Then it dawned on me.
I went to the grocery when a few flakes were falling, and I got bread and milk!!!! Honest!!!!! I am not that guy!!!!!!
I was doing light grocery shopping, getting what was on my wife’s list: Fruit (apples and bananas), turmeric, regular lettuce (meaning iceberg), flavored rice packet (broccoli and cheese if they have it), a quart of milk (2%), half and half, decaf ground coffee, and white bread (not the store brand – it gets stale too quickly).
Honest! That was it! I did not go for bread and milk in a panic and to cover up for my insanity, lack of faith, and an extreme psychotic state, I bought additional items. Honest!!!!!!!!
And to change the subject. On previous days, I had tried a few stores, and no one had turmeric. But this time, I went to the store that advertised that they have what the other stores do not have. It is kind of the “super store” of the local grocery chain. According to the shelf labels, they had four brands of turmeric, but three were empty. The generic and name brand for regular turmeric, and the generic and name brand for the organic turmeric. Why was the only one that was stocked the organic name brand? About twice the price of the generic regular turmeric!!! There may be method to their madness, but their mad method makes folks mad!!!! Hey, I promised my wife that I would make a special dish of Turmeric Spiced Grilled Mahi Mahi. We had everything except for the turmeric. No matter how many stores I had to visit to find the turmeric, and at whatever cost. We already had the coriander, thyme, and rosemary. Sorry, after a day like today, I had to vent.
But then I went home, unloaded the car (taking a picture of the bread and milk with a few flakes of snow on the ground), and then I went to the local bank to pay a bill, not the credit union where all this started.
I ended up having less than thirty minutes at home before I had to go back to pick up my wife after her four hours of dialysis. But at this point, I could have bought a truck load of milk and bread and no one would care. The snow had stopped. Nothing on the road at all!!!!
My advice. Be a good boy scout, even if you never were. Be prepared. And if you are a Christian, act like it. Trust in the Lord instead of panicking. And if you travel by the highways and byways of life, know that there are those “other people” who do panic. They are driving in a car near you. But then, God is in control and you can trust him with that, too. But be sure to pray … a lot!!
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.