In my ladies' small group yesterday morning we were discussing the danger of allowing ourselves to be ruled by our feelings instead of our faith. As we were discussing how volatile our emotions can be on any given day I was reminded of a little incident that happened to me last week at Krystal.
Thursday I attended a meeting at our area group home for foster children. Our agenda was exciting-- Christmas preparations for 38 residents and rewards for the hardworking staff. It was a fun meeting. I left feeling charitable and merry. If life were a musical, I definitely would have been humming "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." I am almost certain I was wearing a silly grin.
The drive to my house was only about 8 minutes, but it was already almost 1pm and I was very hungry so I decided to splurge on some greasy Krystal cheeseburgers. I needed to go to the restroom badly, but the drive through line was short, so I pulled in. Because of the layout of the two entrances, a woman pulled in the back entrance and then nudged in front of my car as the line advanced.
Suddenly, all merriment ceased. It was as if someone had taken a sharp pin to a balloon of my 'goodwill towards men.' I was quite annoyed that this woman had butted into the line. I smiled at her while scowling on the inside. The urgency in my bladder and growling stomach didn't help.
Then the conviction and guilt started. Why was I so happy to divvy up a budget and give material gifts, while being so put out about something as insignificant as my place in line? YUCK!
The internal wrestling match began. I ordered my four mini cheeseburgers on steamed buns with no onion and extra pickles. As I waited, I could almost envision myself in an old cartoon with the good angel on one shoulder prompting me to kindness and the little pitchfork wielding devil on the other ranting at that rude, self important lady. I vacillated between annoyance and reason, disgust with her self-centeredness, followed quickly by disgust with mine.
When I reached the window to pay for my food I was snapped out of my funk by two employees waiting with huge grins.
"You don't owe anything. The lady in front of it took care of you meal and added a drink."
I was stunned. Before I could say anything one of the employees added, "She said to tell you thank you for giving her your place in line."
She thought I had offered my place & was basking in my kindness. Little did she know I was stewing in the car behind her. While I was being bitter, she was making the world better.
She believed the best of me, while I chose to believe the worst of her.
She will never know the lesson her $4 taught me.
I gulped hard. Then I grinned and 'passed it on' by covering the $3 meal behind me. I got the better end of the deal in more ways than one.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. I Timothy 6:18 NIV
Random acts of kindness do matter in this world...and they are often about far more than the couple of dollars spent of the few minutes we are delayed.