Lesson Learned On Aisle Nine

Taking three little boys to Wal-mart puts hair on my chest.  I am convinced.

Nothing will toughen my nerves faster than the teeth-gritting task of grocery shopping with children.

Mom’s are you feeling me on this?

I try to do all preparatory things to make our shopping experience as delightful as possible…

I give each boy a little list – a few items they are “responsible” for finding.  Sometimes, I let Ethan climb in the back of the bugging with the ever-so-important  job of organizing groceries by size, box shape and produce.  I sit Luke up front with me, handing him a pen to mark off my list as I rapidly throw items for Ethan to sort.

Note:  Never give a four-year-old a Sharpie to do this job.  Just sayin’.

But prepared or not, a trip to Wal-mart can go south faster than I can eat a Krispy Kreme donut.  Sending this mama over the edge and impulsively causing me to purchase an unintended $5.00 worth of  Baked Lay’s and Cliff bars just to make it through.

Yesterday was no different.  The boys and I had a short list to knock out before heading across the parking lot to Sam’s, where I promised them pretzels and pizza for their cooperation.  No, I am not above bribery – it works.  Ethan, however did not want to fulfill his appointed task of sorting groceries on this particular day.  Nope,  he wanted my  all-important task of pushing the buggy.  Which, I confess, I am a bit stingy with my job.  Not because I am selfish with my buggy-pushing role, but because a seven-year-old pushing a cart full of toiletries with a four-year-old brother inside through freshly-lined aisles of school supplies, never  goes well.

It just doesn’t.

But I wanted to be a good mom who doesn’t say “no” to everything, so I said OK.  But with the contingency that I may “help” if he needed it.  {Which really means I am sneaking my fingers on the handle even chance possible to straighten the buggy.}

Turning down aisle nine, I said, “Now Ethan, it is a busy morning.  All these mamas are getting school supplies for their kiddos.  It’s really congested on this aisle.”

No response.

“Do you know what mommy means, Ethan?  Congested?”

“Is that when you eat and your food goes down your tummy?”

Grant burst into laugher, “No. That’s digested.”

I continued, “The word congested can mean a couple of things.  It can mean congestion in your chest which makes us cough when we are sick.  But it can also mean a really crowded space with lots of people.  Like the Wal-mart school supply aisle in late July.  Congested.”

Rather proud of my teachable moment, I’m sure I stood a little taller, wondering if anyone was overhearing and taking notes on this golden motherhood moment.

“Does that make sense, Ethan?”

After a pause, Ethan responded, “Eh.  Not really.  But I’ll go with it.”

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 5:3-5

I couldn’t help but immediately see the parallel.  Do you?

There are times that God teaches me a lesson and I get it … spot on.  I understand completely.

But most times, God is teaching me a lofty lesson.  Sometimes I push my buggy and try hard to keep it straight.  Wanting so badly to do my life all by myself.  I don’t want His finger on the cart, steering me in a certain direction.

But when life gets most congested, God wants us to not lean on our own understanding, but to TRUST.  Our job, as followers of Christ isn’t to see what is ahead.  Our job is to follow behind Him.

As long as we are trailing behind the All-Knowing, it doesn’t matter if we know-it-all.  

Follow after God and just “go with it.”

He will make your path straight.

The busy aisles at Wal-Mart are a foreshadow for so many of us.  School supplies.  A new school calendar year.  Fall sports.  Car pool.  A brand new schedule.  

Life has potential to get very congested  in the weeks to come.  But, take heart, we can digest  it all, mind you, if we Trust in Him, lean not on our understanding, and just go with it.  Let Him steer our buggy and organize all that is in it.

I’ll have you know that we made it out of Wal-mart alive.  No great catastrophes or injuries.  But what I took home most wasn’t groceries, but a teachable moment, not for Ethan, but for this mama – reminded of the simplest rule of thumb:  Our job isn’t to know-it-all.  Or even see what is ahead.  Our job is to push the buggy, following hard after our good God and just go with it.  

He will make our path’s straight.


Thoughts Over Coffee:

Where are you inching away from God’s direction?  Have you gotten lost somewhere in the congestion of life?

How can you surrender to Him today, letting Him steer the cart where it needs to go?

Power Verses:  

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.  Psalm 9:10

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

4 thoughts on “Lesson Learned On Aisle Nine

  1. Good stuff. Thank you, Becky! Praise God for always teaching and guiding us!!
    I thought of this verse:

    “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Prov. 19:20

    God reminds me through this verse: My job is to listen, accept, receive, follow & obey (not know, rule, decide, dictate…). And the promise is that IN THE END I will be wise. Not being wise, not understanding, can be such a safeguard! All I want is to stay in complete dependence of God! If I knew and understood everything, I probably wouldn’t do that. Our good and gracious Father knows us and what we need.

    We grow in wisdom as we grow in our knowledge of God and in “fearing the Lord” (Prov. 9:10)…really that means as we live and walk with God, obeying, worshipping, honoring, trusting and submitting to Him…just like your sweet boy at Walmart. He didn’t understand what you were saying but he did what you said b/c he trusts you. I love it!

    Thanks for sharing what you are learning as YOU walk with, trust in and rely on God!

    Yours in Christ,

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