Friday, November 19, 2004

Walmartians Are God's People Too

I'll admit, I am not always the most patient person. (I can hear my friends snickering now.) But I do TRY to be patient with other people. However, there is one sect of people who push my patience to the limits. You know them. You've seen them. Perhaps you're one of them.

I call them Walmartians.

Walmartians consist of two groups: employees of Walmart, and shoppers of Walmart. I won't launch into a tirade about the downfall of customer service in American society, but let's just say that Walmart is not known for being the poster child for customer service. And while I'm sure that there are rude shoppers everywhere, there seems to be a higher concentration of them at Wallyworld for some reason.

Since Walmartians particularly try my patience, I try to avoid going there. But last night I had a long grocery list, so the low low "falling" prices lured me there, like a siren beckoning a ship to run aground on the rocky shore.

After I'd navigated the clogged aisles with the worst shopping cart (somehow I always manage to get the ones with the squeakiest or most dysfunctional wheels), I was ready to checkout. I stood in a long, non-moving line for a few minutes before realizing that the check-out clerk had abandoned their post and was no where to be seen. The other five or six lines that were open had huge amounts of people waiting in them with cartfuls of items, so I hit upon what I *thought* was a good idea at the time. I headed for the check-out at the garden center. There were about five people in line, but all had just a few items, so I thought I'd get out of there pretty quickly.

Apparently the lady at the check-out register had other plans. She was agonizingly slow to check people out, and when I got to the front of the line, another woman (a friend, perhaps another employee), came up and the two started having a conversation. The line is building behind me, I'm frustrated and can sense the frustration of those behind me, but this Walmartian clerk seemed oblivious to the fact that we were all tired and ready to go home.

By the time I finally got into my car, I was huffing and puffing to myself about how inconsiderate Walmartians can be. And with the holiday season upon us, it's only going to get worse as more and more people come out of the woodwork and decide they need to be at Walmart for hours on end. I vowed to avoid Walmart at all costs for the next month and a half.

Once I calmed down and got over myself, I was reminded that God created Walmartians, too, and they are precious in His sight. Even if I do manage to avoid Walmart til 2005, I'll still have encounters with rude, inconsiderate people, because they're really everywhere. And I am guilty many, many times of being that rude, inconsiderate person. How thankful I am that God has limitless patience with me, especially when I'm behaving like a spoiled brat who thinks the world should move according to her whims.

I Thess. 5:14-15: "And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (Emphasis mine)

So all year long, and especially during the holidays, remember that the guy who just cut you off in traffic, or the slow check-out clerk, or the telemarketer are all God's creation. Remember that Jesus died for them too, just as He died for me and you. Try to see them as God sees them. That will go a long way towards making life a little more tolerable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remembered your post while at Wally World last night. As I maneuvered my right- veering cart through the crowded aisles, I started to feel stressed and irritated with the bajillions of people who apparently had the maximum speed of a slug. Whipping my cart around a cluster of girls obliviously blocking the middle of the aisle while sniffing various bath products, I remembered your posting about how God made and loved these people too. Hard to imagine, but true.

I started looking at people I passed a little differently. Most people looked tired like me; trying to get the items they need and get home. Others were laughing looking at toys and, yes, even the bath salts and lotions. I realized that even in the midst of the crowded aisles, we are all pretty much alike, looking for happiness and peace in the beginning holiday season. Instead of begrudging the trouble of wading through carts to reach my one last item, I felt happy that we were all beginning to celebrate Christmas. I was appreciate of things I normally would not give much thought, like the line moving quickly and that I had been able to park in the first few spaces. Besides, maybe there are some really cool things on the right side of the aisle we wouldn’t notice without very determined shopping carts.