Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lord, Forgive Me

The clerk was a lady of fifty-something.  The item was seventeen dollars, plus tax at seven per cent.  While she used the calculator to figure the tax, I said, "Eighteen dollars and nineteen cents."  She finished her computation and said, "You're good."  Chuckling, I said, "I've done a lot of arithmetic."
Then I handed her a twenty dollar bill and twenty cents in coin.   I am not making this up.  She used the calculator to figure my change.

Had she been a girl of seventeen, or even a young woman in her twenties there would have been no surprise; but even fifty-year olds are young enough to have been raised in the totally-electronic-commit-nothing-to-memory age?  Guess so.  Oh, wait.  They have to remember how to punch the buttons on the machine, don't they?

I am trying to find a Sunday School lesson in here someplace, and as I prayerfully pondered the implications of this,  I arrived at this conclusion.

I am entirely too critical.  The woman was merely doing her job, and doing it, no doubt, within the framework of her training.  We completed the deal, I got my product and she got the company's   money.  So in what way was she lacking?  She was competent (able to work the machinery) and pleasant (she smiled as she handed me my penny and the two one dollar bills.)  If there is a fault here, and there is, it was not hers.

Jesus said, " Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it.  Love thy neighbor as thyself."*

One cannot maintain a loving spirit toward his fellow-man if he harbors a critical spirit which picks at every little perceived short-coming.

Oh, Lord, forgive me for my critical attitude and teach me love and caring for others.  Make a change in me.  Amen

*Matthew 22:37-39


Jacquelineand.... said...

It is a humble heart which beholds itself and doesn't turn away.

A lesson well-shared. Thank you.

Jim said...

As I started reading, my immediate thought was, "Holy cow, in my first job with a cash register I was *required* to count change back, and ignore the number the cash register gave out." And then I realized I was doing the same thing you did. No grace in me today, either. :-(

Secondary Roads said...

I have often been surprised by how critical we can be of others, and yet [nearly] infinitely forgiving toward ourselves. Yes, I have chuckled over folks who handle money without much skill.

vanilla said...

Jacquelineand, I know it wouldn’t hurt me to be more understanding of others!

Jim, if we are to receive grace, we are to give grace. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Ouch.

Chuck, to love our neighbor as ourselves, then, would be to cut him the same slack we give ourselves?

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is who short changed her while she was in school. Many are getting short change in our schools. I was subbing in a school once when I had a 9th grade student that didn't know how many tenths were in 1/2. I wrote out 1/2 equils how many tenths , then ask her how many times 2 goes in to 10. She didn't know. I feel sorry for those who are missing a good math teacher.

vanilla said...

Bob, I suspect that making change is not a skill that is taught anymore, along with meter reading and lots of other stuff that used to be in the books. Unnecessary. We have electronics now!

Sad, though, when a ninth-grader can't come up with one-half is five-tenths.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Good lesson. If mathematical ability equated holiness, I'd be in dire, dire straits. I can spell like the angels, though. ;)

Shelly said...

Rebecca and I are in the same boat!

vanilla said...

Rebecca, angels can spell? We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and it is a good think that "mathematical ability" or "spelling" will not be the final standard by which we are judged.

Shelly, and yet we are blessed with your story-telling ability!

Lin said...

I'm thinking that if she gave you the incorrect change, you'd probably be even more critical, so I'd give her the mulligan on the calculator. ;)

Being critical of others is far too easy and something that if not checked, I do far too often. That said, I am probably harder on myself than on others, so I need to pray twice as hard!

Sharkbytes said...

Well, ok, but she would have been better off as a self-reliable human if she could have figured it out.

vanilla said...

Lin, I am realizing more and more that I would be a happier person if I were a little more considerate of others. Walk in their shoes and all that.

Sharkey, probably; but I need to direct more positive attitudes toward others; which is not to say that tolerance for incompetence is my goal. :D

Ilene said...

I get where she is coming from, Bro. Between the two of us, you and I got a whole brain. Mine is the right half, and yours is left.

vanilla said...

Ilene, I'll try not to consider that an insult to my right brain! :-)