Friday, July 11, 2014

Gettin' a Little Buggy

Many years ago, I heard a pastor preach a sermon, "Take Your Buggy Back." It seems, in certain parts of the country, a shopping cart is known as a "buggy." Here in the northeast, the only thing we refer to as a "buggy" is a Volkswagen  Beetle (and New Jersey, but that's for another post). Anyway, the gist of the sermon was to remember to take your cart back to the front of the market or a nearby cart corral out of respect for fellow shoppers and concern for your testimony.

"That's legalism," a girlfriend said. I didn't know; I was too caught up in legalism at the time to notice. I now affirm it was God's grace and Christ's work for me that gives me complete freedom to never take my buggy back. I am completely free to run one of those steel orange Home Depot dollies right down the side of someone's brand new Suburban Denali!

I don't. I wouldn't. Yes, because I love God and would never want to do anything to dishonor or displease Him. Yes, because I have love for others and would not want to damage something for which they've worked hard or with which they have been abundantly blessed. Yes, because what kind of Christian would I be? Who would ever listen to me or want to have what I have if that's what I have? Yes, because I've never been good at not getting caught. But mostly because I wouldn't want someone to do it to me! Call me a bad Christian because this is karma-like reasoning (HA-HA, you can't -- GRACE!), but if someone tears up the side of my truck because they are reckless, that's one thing. To entertain the thought I might have achieved my deductible, been without a vehicle, spent hours arguing with insurance companies or body shops, and gotten what was coming to me because I am reckless, or inconsiderate, or lazy, or shady... That, my friends, is torturous.

All that being said, I honestly want to know what sort of life it is people lead, that they are too stressed, pressed, busy, dizzy, hurried, harried, married -- whatever! -- that they cannot walk fifteen feet to the nearest cart corral! I saw it three times this morning, in the -- what? 20 seconds it took me to walk into the store, and the minute and a half it took me to walk out, load my four bags of groceries, and walk my cart to the corral. I literally watched a woman take longer to find a spot in the lot where the cart wouldn't roll than it would have taken for her to put it in the corral, almost directly across the aisle from her car.

I'm not talking about pregnant women with more kids that the Duggars. I'm not talking about people with missing or damaged limbs. I'm not even talking about senior Senior Citizens -- although I did see one of those. She was walking a cart from the nether regions of the parking lot on her way from the bus stop and into the store! I'm not talking about someone who loads her groceries into the trunk, puts her purse down on the front seat, takes a call from the husband wondering when on earth is she coming home to get these kids, becomes distracted and forgets the cart is unattended and unsecured as she peels out of the parking lot and races to Starbucks because now "there is no way I am [she is] going straight home!" (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has done that.)

These are people without limps. People who slide in, hunt around for their sunglasses, and find just the right station on the radio before pulling away. These are people who consciously look at the cart, look at the corral, look at the front of the store, and then look around to "make sure" no one is looking before they dump a cart right in the middle of an empty spot or gently lean it up against someone else's vehicle -- yours maybe. These are people of my generation! Not to be a generational bigot, but in broad terminology: "People my age were raised better!" I don't want to be judgmental -- God doesn't like judgmental any more than legalistic or lazy, but I've gotta call it like I see it:


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