Confessions from the Self-Checkout Lane

So this blog was supposed to be posted like a week and a half ago…oops. :-)
     A few weeks ago at Journey Campus on Sunday we had a baptism service. It was one of the most amazing services I have ever been a part of. I love baptisms anyway. Just seeing people who have been so changed by the love of Christ get up and make that public is so touching. I really love the way Central/Journey Campus does baptisms too because they play a video before each person of them telling their story. I think that is actually my favorite part. Just hearing people tell others how they were once in a life of sin and how God rescued them out of it just blesses my heart.
     One of the most amazing things about the baptism service was that they asked the people in their interview who they would like to thank for helping them in their journey to Christ. All of the people had been reached by someone who had just loved on them. They hadn’t gone to a life changing service. It wasn’t anything the pastor said. It was people. People and simply the way they lived, the fact that they simply showed them Christ’s love.
     It really got me thinking about my life. I thought, who am I investing in that may one day be telling their story to a group of people? As embarrassing as it is to admit, I couldn’t think of a single person. Sure, I have people that I invite to church or events or even to journey groups, but all of them are people that are already believers and new to the Jonesboro area, looking for a new church, etc. And I’m not saying that I don’t believe I am having some discipleship influence on these people, because I do and I think that is really important as well. But I couldn’t remember the last person I just loved on someone I didn’t know, someone that might not know Christ.
     At Journey groups we talked about the baptism service and some other people felt similar things. We talked about how the people who had made an impact on those people who were baptized weren’t necessarily going out and looking for lost people (not that I am saying we shouldn’t), but that they were simply taking time to live a life of love.
     I don’t think that I’m necessarily not a loving person, in fact, I feel the opposite. However, I tend to get extremely busy, and when I do get busy I get this tunnel vision and I don’t even notice people around me. This may sound silly, but one of the first things I thought about was grocery shopping. Everyone has to go grocery shopping, and most people don’t exactly enjoy it. I usually go to Kroger and one of my favorite things about Kroger is the self-checkout aisles. If I write out a list beforehand, I can get in and out of Kroger super fast and without having to make any human contact, which in the busy-ness of life, I thoroughly appreciate. Lately though, as silly as it may seem, I have actually been convicted about that. I know right, self-checkout conviction sounds a little ridiculous, but how many opportunities could I be missing? If I go grocery shopping once a week (not counting all the times I have to drop by because we forgot something) then that is once person each week that I am giving up on the chance to invite them to church, or journey group, or even to just smile and show them a little love from a customer not upset about the ridiculously high and rising prices. Is it really worth getting out of the grocery store 5 minutes quicker?
     Now, I don’t think you are sinning if you use the self-checkout aisle at Kroger. ;-)But I just challenge you to think about areas of your life where you could just be too distracted to notice opportunities God may be sending your way. Sometimes we act like we don’t understand why God isn’t using us. But God wants to use us, we just have to make ourselves available.
Much Love!

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