Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Grocery Cart Inspector


The last chart was finished with an hour to spare before my next meeting.  There was just enough time for the dry cleaners or a quick grocery run, but not both.  I, of course, opted for groceries.  

As soon as I grabbed my cart, I headed past the cheese and olives (two favorites) in favor of fresh produce, feverishly trying to remember what in the world I had intended to buy in the first place.  I filled the "baby basket" part with lettuce, mushrooms, and gluten free bread.

I hate to admit it, but I was actually heading to the chip aisle when I noticed a little boy examining the gluten-free food section.  "That's odd," I thought, and headed over to take a closer look.  

I didn't need anything.  I was just being nosy. 

Just about that time, his mom appeared.  It didn't take her but a quick glance to assess my basket.  I had wisely, and carefully, stacked my produce atop the two sticks of peppered salami, just in case of basket inspectors, and it was a good thing I had.  

She assumed from what she could see that I was a healthy eater (and I am) and gluten-free (and I am).  Based on her assumptions, she struck up a conversation about how the food you eat affects you, how bad she felt, and what food choices I thought she could make that would help her feel better and improve her health.  

This lady was asking for health advice on the basis of my grocery cart. (Well, what she could SEE of my grocery cart.) 

I gave her what I thought was good advice and sneaked on over to the chip aisle.

When I looked at all those chip bags, I remembered that sweet lady and her cute little boy.  I did buy chips, but they were organic mixed vegetable chips... just in case I ran into another basket inspector.

I confess I'm guilty of being a basket inspector myself, and I'm not usually the one who takes note of all the healthy choices in the basket.  


Sometimes I look at a basket filled with hotdogs, chips, and soft drinks and think, "I hope they are having a cookout."  

Sometimes I look at a basket filled with nothing but unhealthy choices and think less charitable thoughts.

Unfortunately, grocery baskets are not the only things I notice (well, inspect), and  I'm probably not the only one.  

We might call ourselves "fruit inspectors", but most of us take note of the people around us and the lives they live. For the moment, I'm not worried about the inspections I make. That's an issue for another day. Today, I'm concerned about how well I stand up to the inspection of others.  

Just like the salami hidden under the lettuce, I probably have some things in my heart and my life that would not look quite so great on close inspection.  

How about you?  What are you hiding in your heart where no one can see?

Well chosen grocery carts are great, and I was pretty proud of mine.  That basket could stand up to any inspector (as long as I kept the salami under wraps), but I wonder if my life could do as well. 

Sometimes I'm impatient and downright cranky.  Sometimes I'm worse than that.  You don't need my list... you probably have one of your own.  

Today, I'm looking at my life and trying to make it as presentable as the cart was... with one exception.  

Nothing hidden.  

The Inspector who really matters sees it all anyway.

Why not join me in introspection?  

Let's all take a look at our lives and do a serious inventory.  How well would they stand up to close inspection?  

Maybe it's time to "ditch the salami and head to the produce" - get rid of the mess in our hearts that is doing us no good and will only end up hurting us, and choose the things that are good and right.  

Someone hopes to find an answer to their most pressing questions and they may look to you for that answer.  Give them something worth seeing.

Make a life that's worth inspecting.

"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42 nasb
____________
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Deadwood and Divine Pruning
This ministry of prayer and outreach (digital and in-person) is only possible because of the generosity of your support. Together, we're making progress, but help is still needed. (I don't get a salary until this ministry is funded) If God has called you to help, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 or you can mail your  check or money order to:
Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.
#devotional