Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Grocery Cart Inspector

I finished the last chart with an hour to spare before my next meeting. It left 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 I had intended to buy in the first place. I filled the "baby basket" part with lettuce, mushrooms, and gluten free bread.

I was en route to the chip aisle when I noticed a little boy in 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 nosy. 

The basket inspector arrives.

About that time, his mom appeared.  She assessed my basket with a quick glance. The produce sat atop the two sticks of peppered salami, just in case of basket inspectors, and it was a good thing it did.  

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 asked for health advice on the basis of my grocery cart, or what she could SEE of it. 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 inspect baskets, too.

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."  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.  

What do others see when they inspect our lives?

We may 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.  

Like the salami hidden under the lettuce, we all have some things in our hearts and lives that might not look quite so great on close inspection. What are we hiding in our heart where no one can see?

Well chosen grocery carts are great. M 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, as I look at my life, I want 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 do they stand up to close inspection?  

Maybe it's time to "ditch the salami and head to the produce." Let's rid ourselves of the mess in our hearts that does us no good and only ends 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.

Choose a life 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
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