Into the Beautiful~ Don’t Check Out in the Check Out Line

Over the last couple of weeks, some of the best learning moments I have experienced have been while standing in the check out line at Walmart. It definitely tends to be the times when I most often think about my One Word…inconvenience.

I have been practicing patience lately each time I visit Walmart. Instead of treating the experience as a military operation where I sneak in under the radar and try to get out as quickly as possible, I am intentionally trying to slow down. Wait…did I just write that?

Yesterday, as I chose a check out line, my WORD crossed my mind. I was the third customer in line. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until the cashier informed the lady who was at the register the total of her bill.  Apparently, the lady went $25.00 over what she could afford. One by one the lady begins removing items from her bag to return them.  After several minutes, the cashier lets her know that she is still $7.00 over what she was able to afford.

I waited patiently. I was okay with being delayed.  I was keeping myself occupied by checking emails on my phone.

The lady was about to reach in and choose one more thing to return when the customer in front of me takes out her wallet and says, “Here, let me pay the $7.00 for you.”    At first, the lady declines but then accepts the help.

I could tell you all that I didn’t offer to do this because I didn’t have any cash on me…which is true, I only had my debit card. Yet, the truth is, this idea wasn’t even on my radar.

Ironically, it was while standing in a check out line when I allowed my mind and my heart to check out.

Yesterday, It didn’t even occur to me to take out my debit card and offer to help this lady out. $7.00…I could certainly afford $7.00.

My heart fell for a moment.  Sometimes I am so slow, Lord.

I learned a lesson yesterday about me, God, and my OneWord. The Lord is not wanting me to just be okay with inconvenience.

It’s one thing for me to stand in line and observe. It’s a whole other story to choose to let my story collide with the inconvenience.

I was reminded that these moments can become opportunities to bless others. Daily interruptions should prompt me to look for ways to love on others.

When it was my turn to check out, I did something I rarely do…I made small talk with the cashier ringing up my items.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m usually pleasant, I usually smile.  But this time, the small act of kindness I witnessed just a few moments earlier stirred something inside of me. It reminded me that I didn’t want to be the hurried customer who doesn’t have time for people.

We’re heading Into the Beautiful again today.  Grab the button and come link up.  Make sure to take a few minutes to visit one or two other bloggers who have linked up too.

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Starting today, I will also be participating in Margaret Feinberg’s 21 Days of Wonder. You can find out more information HERE

16 thoughts on “Into the Beautiful~ Don’t Check Out in the Check Out Line

  1. bill (cycleguy)

    Very good and convicting thoughts Eileen. I was in a line at a convenience store a couple of weeks ago when the man tried to use his EBT card (food stamp) to get something to drink and it said it was not able to. I paid for his drink. I felt good about doing it (it was only .85 but then I needed to ask myself why I did it. Pure motives is one thing but doing it cuz I’m in a hurry takes the joy out of it. I prefer it be out of pure motives. 🙂

    1. Eileen Post author

      You’re right, Bill. That thought actually crossed my mind yesterday. I wondered what the motives were of the lady in front of me. She wasn’t acting impatient and in a hurry. Regardless of why she did it…God used it.

  2. Christina

    Letting our story collide with inconvenience. Wow, good way to describe it. I have an intense dislike for Walmart, maybe I should take my own one word there and learn from it. Great story, thanks for sharing it.

  3. Jenny Wilson

    I’m waiting for you to publish a book titled, “People of Walmart-A Christ Followers Devotional”. Seems like God speaks to you (and me!) frequently while shopping there.

  4. Tracy

    “It’s one thing for me to stand in line and observe. It’s a whole other story to choose to let my story collide with the inconvenience.” Love this sister… I can relate to this. Oh how I can relate… thank you for challenging me once again. I do believe there can be hidden blessing within incovenience. Lord, give us eyes to see!!!

  5. Jenifer

    Oh Eileen, I LOVE this. I struggle with those feelings of inconvenience while at Walmart. Especially in the checkout line. And I try to busy myself with my cell phone or talking to the kids. But I need to be aware, I need to be listening to God. Thank you for this slap…er…uh…encouragement! 😉


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