I spend a lot of time waiting in line at the local pharmacy which is challenging because it might be my least favorite task on the planet. Between both of my parent’s, I am responsible for picking up a long list of medications and vitamins. I am a familiar face to the staff and often joke about having an apartment above the store because of the time I spend there. It’s safe to say I am no stranger to line waiting.
The pharmacy line is filled with people on a mission…to take care of business and that’s about it. Taking a closer look, you see people staring at phones or into space until it’s time to shuffle closer to the “promised land” of the counter. One day, I snapped out of my pharmacy fog long enough to compliment a pharmacy assistant on her beautiful cross necklace. It was sweet how much it made her smile.
As a line-dweller I’ve witnessed her efficiently taking on a sea of tasks. Searching for misplaced prescriptions, putting out customer insurance fires, searching the computer while simultaneously, handling what could be construed as verbal abuse from frustrated, often germ riddled customers. The least I could do was pay her an honest compliment.
The other day, I was mindlessly waiting in that same line sorting through my emails on my phone until it was my turn to pick-up. When I got up to the cash register, the pharmacy assistant surprised me by having my prescription ready and waiting. I said, “What?! Could this be mine? I haven’t even given you my name?” She said, “I saw you waiting in line so I pulled it right away for you.” You would have thought she told me I won the lottery!
My sudden joy wasn’t simply that she had my prescription ready. It was because she happily went above and beyond the call of duty. She made an effort that I have never experienced before in that dreaded line. Instead of just going through the motions of taking care of business – which is what I was doing in that line – she took care of me because she remembered me. (I’m pretty sure it had to do with that simple compliment I had paid her the week prior.)
I’ve got to say, this small gesture made my day! I was inspired! After making a fuss over her, I spent the rest of the day smiling more and noticing the people I encountered… even starting conversations with them. (Note: In the DC area, that can actually scare people.) This little incident made me hyper-aware of the indifference that was trying to overtake me and smother the joy that I have in my heart. An indifference that would like to see me turn into some sort of a pharmacy-dwelling, void of emotion, zombie.
When we lose focus on the important and we run around trying to get our “to-do lists” over with – we miss the big picture of what God has put us on this earth to do in the first place… Bring Him glory by showing His love to others! As servants of Christ, this is where we are called to be a light. As simple as noticing someone, understanding they have burdens too, offering a smile or word of encouragement, perhaps even a compliment can have impact beyond what we intend.
This week, take the drudgery out of errands by taking yourself out of the equation and putting God front and center. Ask Him to “raise your thoughts a little higher and use your words to inspire.” (See Toby Mac song below.)
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
“In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Mohandas Gandhi
“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.” Irish Blessing.
Monday Must see Video: Toby Mac – Speak Life