Saturday, November 12, 2005

Don't get in the check-out line behind me.

Seriously. I always manage to pick the slowest moving check-out line. There can be 25 check-out lines open, and somehow I find the one with the 1) new checker who hasn't yet mastered the fine art of Scanning Bar Codes; 2) the traveling retirees who need to chat about their brilliant grandkids (pictures available on request!); 3) the Coupon Queen; 4) the 8 year old boy who needs to count out his money one penny at a time; and 5) the teen who debates the price of his new video game, Death on a Skateboard. I need a t-shirt with a message on the back: WARNING: slow-moving traffic ahead. If you hope to get out of this store before your next birthday, choose another line.

Not to be paranoid or anything, but I think it's some kind of conspiracy organized by my husband, Chumpy, to keep me out of StuffMart. I mean, there I am at home, realizing I need to go to the store to pick up a few things. Like any other homeschooling family, we regularly run out of Jolt Breakfast Drink (ingredients: caffeine, artificial water), Git-R-Done Duct Tape, and Drool-B-Gone ("Removes unsightly sofa stains, FAST!"). I figure I can get in and out of the store in 5 minutes. But, nooooo. As soon as I grab my car keys, some kind of silent, county-wide emergency alert advises everyone to proceed immediately to StuffMart. My 5 minute shopping spree turns into a one-hour marathon of check-out pain and suffering. Meanwhile, my children are running amuck at home (I'm out of duct tape, remember?) and the drool is permanently becoming one with my sofa.

All is not lost. Through a book by Karen Mains titled Open Heart, Open Home, God has reminded me that He orders my days. All the interruptions, all the delays, all the unplanned changes to my carefully organized days, are ordained by Him. In the midst of it all, I need to see the people He brings into my life, to pray for them and show them love. I say a prayer for all those folks in line ahead of me. I smile, rather than growl, at the slow checker. And I thank God, again, for His patience with such an impatient child.

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