Saturday’s are a fun day for me and Mary Ann. Aside from doing some home chores, we usually go to breakfast and just have fun talking and laughing about things. Today, we went to First Watch and as usual, I went into my people watching mode.
I love watching people. I love how they interact with others, I love how they laugh and love when they are engaged in deep conversation. Now, I don’t want you laughin’ at me because of what I’m about to tell you but, almost every time I sit observing people, I always think to myself, “I wonder what God made that person for?” That sounded funny to my wife Mary Ann. She asked me, “So…do you ask God, “God, why on earth did you make Mary Ann?” We laughed and I assured her that I am very happy that He made her. I explained, however, that most of the time in our lives we rarely consider how other people bring joy to God.
I mean, there are short people, tall people, skinny and not so skinny, (see what I did there?). Every single one of them was created to bring God joy and; I might add, were created to experience joy and purpose themselves. Some were made with really keen intellects, others; with amazing creativity. There are people who were created to solve problems, cultivate the soil, do heart surgery and teach children.
Do you ever ask God why He made you? What particular thing about you does God really love? Do you ever ponder that? Even if you don’t, I do. I always want to know why God made me so I can give Him joy by doing it well. Knowing and understanding the purpose for which you were created goes a long way to helping you stay on course in life. I’m a big purpose advocate. Anyway, I digress once again.
We left the restaurant and went to the Farmers Market. While walking around we bought some great hibiscus plants and ferns for our patio. Someone found a ten dollar bill on the ground and while she was asking a group if it was theirs, I piped up and said, “If it has the picture of a dead president on it, it’s mine!” Everyone laughed and my introvert wife probably wondered if they sold gags to put over my mouth. I talk to everybody.
We left after buying some local honey (I use it instead of sugar in my coffee) and stopped to buy gas at a convenience store while on our way home. I am telling you this story just to point out that this is how God works in our lives.
The credit card reader on the pump didn’t work, so of course, I had to walk in to pay for my gas. Inconvenience is one of the Lord’s greatest servants. As I stood in line, a woman and her daughter were standing next to a counter doing something. I thought maybe they had bought a scratch-off ticket or something. The man in front of me was… well, he was just taking his time. He’d reach into his pocket and not find the money he was looking for, then, he’d change his mind and ask for some cigarettes. He dropped coins on the ground and took his time picking them up. All this time, the lady and her daughter were still looking at something with their heads down. I peeked over and saw they were trying to pull up some kind of bank information on her phone.
The man in front of me continued to dawdle. As I said before, inconvenience is one of God’s greatest servants…and this man was the greatest servant of all! As he stood trying to pay for the cigs, lottery tickets, trail mix, and diet orange Crush, the mother was becoming very worried. She spoke up to the girl behind the counter, “I’m trying to get this card to download on my phone, but I’m having trouble.” Her daughter was trying to be of assistance. I discovered they were two hours from home and didn’t have her debit card. Finally, Mr. Dawdle (as I learned to think of him,) was finished and as an added treat, he stepped backward and right on to my foot!
As I paid for my gas, God woke me out of my little pity party about Mr. Dawdle being so inconvenient. “Do you wonder why I made him?” the Lord asked me. I stated, almost out loud like a dare, “Yes, in fact, Lord I DO wonder why you made Mr. Dawdle!” I said it laughing. Have you ever heard the Lord sigh? I did at that moment. “Pay attention to what is happening with the mother and daughter…” a quiet voice spoke inside.
As I began to walk away, I realized that they didn’t have enough money to buy their gas. I asked the woman, “Can I help?” She smiled kindly, and thanked me but said, she was relatively sure she would be able to download the card on her phone. If it hadn’t been for Mr. Dawdle I would never have focused long enough to see outside myself. On most days, I am like an Irish Setter chasing butterflies!
It is also at times like this, that God decides to answer questions we have previously asked. He chooses these times because there is no time to argue with Him. Quietly, very patiently I heard, “I created you to be a blessing… go be one!” A lump came into my throat. Why does it always take me so long to catch on to what God is doing around me? I looked at the cashier and said, “Put $40 of gas in their car. ” The kind woman blushed, which I felt bad about. She tried to prevent me, but the deed was done.
She and her daughter kept trying to download the card onto her phone as she said, “Please sir, you don’t have to do that!” I said the only thing I knew to say. “This is why we are put on the earth, isn’t it? To help each other? ” The cashier was grinning. She said, “I was just praying God would help these ladies and in you walked!” God had used her to pray so I would step up and serve. I’m such a big baby because I started to tear up. I smiled and turned to leave. The woman asked, “How can I thank you?” I said, “be a blessing to someone”. I gave her my blog address and told her I’d be writing about this today.
Driving home, I realized one thing God has created all of us for…to be a blessing to others. They will know we are Christians by our love…and sometimes the Lord sends Mr. Dawdle’s of this world to slow us down and get our attention on His priorities instead of our own. The next time you’re inconvenienced, just realize you may be getting positioned to be a blessing.
God bless Mr. Dawdle.