The Shopping Cart and God

The other day I had to execute a mission at the local Walmart. Come-on, I have to make this sound interesting, correct? Seriously, on the way home I stopped off at Walmart to purchase some necessities and a candy bar.

I grabbed the first shopping cart I saw and proceeded into the store. The cart was limping, have you ever had one of those carts that limped? The steady, thump, thump, thump on the floor as you push it along. At least the shopping cart did not pull to the left or to the right. I did think about turning around and selecting another shopping cart. Effectively rejecting the shopping cart that I happened to grab.

But I didn’t reject the cart and I continued to push it into the store as I mentally mapped out all the areas I would have to visit. This mapping out in the head is so I do not have to zig-zag around as I locate all the items I needed, along with a candy bar. As I turned down into the pharmacy area to get the vitamins, I grabbed them first and then, looked for topical rubs for sore muscles.

As I pushed the shopping cart, the constant thump, thump, thump continued and when I passed by other customers, I found them looking at my shopping cart and then at me. I determined that some looks were sympathetic while others were of a sort that can only be interpreted as follows,

“Why did he continue to use that shopping cart?”

I finally found the area where the various muscle rubs were located and found that the one I wanted, was not stocked. Off I go to the next area which dealt with the cat. Not my cat! I had to get kitty litter. I did pause, thumping stopped and texted my wife to double-check if the cat (not my cat) needed his food to be restocked.

I figured that my wife would take a moment to respond so… detour off to sporting goods too check the price of .270 ammo (yeah, a zig). Yes, the shopping cart was still thumping along with a steady beat as I rolled up into sporting goods. The clerk who was restocking the shelves of shotgun shells gave the shopping cart a look and then a look at me. His look however, I couldn’t determine as either sympathetic or questioning why I didn’t reject the cart for another.

I found the ammo and made a mental note of the price. I then turned around and headed off to the pet area of Walmart, which was across to the other side of the store. As I pushed the cart it continued with that steady thumping. Along the way, I stopped (almost a zag) to look at a shelf with all the bean-bag chairs and realized then, that the “sound” of the thumping had been ignored. I also realized that the up and down jostling of the shopping cart hadn’t been felt either.

Then God began to minister to me and this is how I understand His ministering:

While this shopping cart had a “defect” or a “disability,” the shopping cart was fully capable in performing flawlessly.

As human’s we also are “flawed,” the greatest and the only true flaw that matters to God, is sin.

For this, He sent His Son Jesus Christ and whosoever believes IN Him, will be saved and redeemed of sin. From that point on, we are capable to perform “flawlessly” for God.

However, we focus on any defect we may have or even “feel” that we have. Sometimes we make a flaw into a disability and use it in a manipulative effort to get our way. In either not doing something, or demanding that we deserve something. We can actually utilize our poverty, as a disability.

Should we have any “type” of disability, have we truly made effort to adjust our lifestyle in a way that God can utilize us “as is” for His glory?

For so many, the wrong focus has caused us to literally reject “ourselves,” as we tend to use our flaws as an excuse “to” not perform flawlessly for God.

Question: What is the effective range of an excuse?

“I’m not good enough.”

“I can’t speak to strangers.”

“I’m in jeans and a tank-top, no one will listen to me right now.”

“I studder.”

“I can’t write because I spell words rong all the time.”

“I can’t read well.”

“That person knew me when I was always high on drugs.”

“I’m disabled.”

“I have tattoos.”

“I’m missing a limb(s).”

“I can’t pray.”

“I can’t because this walker slows me down.”

“I can’t because I don’t have the money”

“I can’t,”

“I can’t,”

“I can’t!”

Are we so sure, God can’t either?

Answer: The maximum effective range of an excuse is… ZERO meters!

I could have rejected that shopping cart due to that flaw but I didn’t, I USED the shopping cart despite the flaw. As I loaded my purchases up into the truck (I did get the candy bar) and returned the cart to those racks in the parking lot, I realized that despite the flaw, the shopping card did serve me flawlessly.

When we become a Christian and have been redeemed of sin, God will USE us despite any “other” flaws that we may have. The ONE flaw that mattered, is forgiven and covered by Jesus’ blood at the moment of receiving Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

Sure, people will look at us, raise an eyebrow because of how we look or a flaw is present. We may discern their negativity but remember, God will not reject us and can always use us.

Put all your Hope in Jesus!

As I shopped and my mind was focusing on the task at hand, I didn’t hear the thumping nor did I feel that steady jostle as the shopping cart bounced up and down.

The point being that once we begin to focus on “any” task that God has put before us, how we look, how we sound, any flaws or even disabilities will not hinder us when we are in His will and are obedient in doing, His will.

Flawed or not, rich or poor, when we put God first and allow Him to be our strength, there is no task that is impossible.

Philippians 4: 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV)