I checked my watch again as they worked through his transaction. He began to count out his money. My annoyance rose. If he didn't hurry up, I was going to have to leave my purchase. He came up short with his money. "Good grief," I thought, "Just hurry up!" He left his purchases on the counter. Relieved, I checked out and jumped in the car to pick up my daughter.
On the drive, I reflected on the situation. I'd missed an opportunity, because I'd had blinders on. I don't remember how much money he was short on his purchase, but I could have given him the dollar or two he needed. I remembered what he had been saying. "A new shirt for my new job." He was excited. I'd missed an opportunity to show a random act of kindness; to show him the love of Jesus.
Now, I strive to live a life without blinders on. Here are some tips that help me.
1. Slow down. I was a big hurry. That was my first mistake. I didn't plan my own time better, so suddenly my running late was his fault. If I hadn't been in a hurry, I would have been relaxed and able to engage in what he was saying in the moment, rather than in hindsight.
2. Don't focus on yourself. It was all about me that day. When I was so focused on myself, I couldn't see the young man. In hindsight I realized how proud and excited he was about his new job. It was probably his first job. I missed the chance to share in, and increase his joy, because I couldn't take my eyes off myself.
3. Be intentional. We have opportunities to help those around us every day if we just take our blinders off. Now I am more intentional about looking and seeing those around me.
4. Pray. Yes, pray, and ask God to open your eyes. God places people in our path that need to see his light, and we have the chance to reflect it. Be the light.
I am sorry for my actions that day at the store. I am thankful that God is never too busy to see me, and for his amazing grace when I blow it. Those blinders made me blind...but now I see.
For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:15,16
Are you intentionally seeking opportunities to shine God's light or participate in random acts of kindness?