I honestly don’t see how people get through everyday life without Jesus. If I did not have the grace of God working in my life to give me patience and compassion when needed, I would have a total meltdown or snap on people at least once a week. This is especially true when you throw kids into the mix.
Last night we had our first family of four outing. We drove our newly purchased SUV to Target with our 3-year-old son and newborn daughter in tow. Gathering everything needed for the 15 minute drive took way more than 15 minutes. But the real fun started when we were leaving Target.
I had the baby in my buggy and did most of the actual shopping, while my husband took our son and hunted down a few items. They ended out in the toy isle, which of course led to whining when it was time to go. We made it to the parking lot, but not without first having to take away some of Lane’s TV time.
Once in the parking lot, my husband started unloading items as I put Blakely in the car. A few young guys were getting in the car beside us and backing up. They happened to back over a full beer can, which sprayed all down my leg. I smelled like a frat house (beer, spoiled milk on my shirt, and dirty hair). All I could think about was how this would stink up the SUV I had owned for barely a full day.
I could have snapped at that point, but three things ran through my mind: 1) It was not the kid’s fault (who felt really bad and kept apologizing as well); 2) He might have had a bad day, and my overreacting would be his breaking point; 3) Snapping on innocent people is the kind of thing that gives us Christians such a bad name.
So I took this as an opportunity to buy new yoga pants. I went back into Target and got a new pair, changing in the bathroom, and throwing away the soiled pair of maternity yoga pants I never plan on wearing again anyway.
Once back in the car, we decided to get some food. I suggested Panda Express, but the drive through looked like everyone else had the same idea. We chose to go to Panera Bread, and I ran in while my husband kept the kids in the car. After waiting for awhile, I found out my order got lost and then got the bad news that Panera Bread was, of all things, out of bread.
By the time I got to the car again, our son was snoring and Blakely was sucking down a bottle. At least they were happy. My husband and I laughed at how we had anticipated the kids being the problem and not everything else. Needless to say, I did not (and still have not) put up my Christmas tree as I planned to last night.
Ten years ago I probably would have snapped at all this stress and made sarcastic comments at how a place with bread in its name ran out of bread. Even though I have much more going on in my life now, I have realized that everyone else does too. (That’s why I’ll save my bread comments for stand-up only.) You never know what the person who makes you “snap” may have had to deal with already.
Life would be a lot easier if people went around with signs that said something like “just lost my job,” “my grandma is dying,” “my wife just walked out,” etc. If we knew these things we would be a lot nicer to them. (Well, most people would, while some nosy rosies would ask a bunch of personal questions and justify it with a “bless your heart.”) So next time you’re having a hard day, think of how the person next to you might be going through something even worse. And even if everything is going great, we all need Jesus.