Give Me a Break!

It's been a bad morning. One of those mornings where everything goes wrong. It started first crack out of the bag when I discovered my husband finished off the granola. He alternates between three different cereals, but I eat only the granola. Now I had no cereal for my breakfast. Grrrr… Did I mention I’m not a morning person?

I head out on my morning errands. I spy a decent parking spot and circle around to come in from the right direction. I politely pause for an idiot in a little bitty car, only to have that same idiot whip into my parking spot. Incredulous, I watch a bright-pink-sweater-clad gal jump out of her car and run into the store, completely oblivious to me sitting right there with my blinker on. Now come on! A person can’t possibly be that blind, so it’s just plain rude! Ugh!

Finally inside the store, I briskly walk the five acres of aisles to gather the four items I need. I can tell I’m not in a good mood. My face hurts and I realize my brow is so furrowed it’s cramping. I tell myself to relax, drop my shoulders and take a deep breath. My purse strap falls off my shoulder, hits my forearm and I drop a pack of batteries and a box of granola. At least it wasn’t something breakable. I’m trying to look on the bright side.

I pick a checkout line. It doesn’t matter which one. They’ll all be slow. I try the deep breath again. Without dropping my shoulder this time. Bored, I read the ridiculous headlines on the magazine rack. Then I catch a flash of pink behind me. Surely not! I steal a look. Yep, it’s the parking spot thief. Unchristian thoughts start going through my mind. How can I slow this line down even more? Ask for a price check? Change my mind on what I’m purchasing? Try to use my library card instead of a credit card? Dump out my purse and count out all the loose change rattling around in the bottom of it? I’d look like an idiot…but somehow it’d be worth it. I scold myself for the thoughts and tell myself to let it go. Besides, she’s totally clueless that she’s a thief.

Back home, I clean the receipts out of my wallet. One well-worn scrap of paper gets put back into my wallet. Why do I even bother? I look at the hand-written IOU, tempted once again to just throw it away. I really did trust my coworker to pay me back. We even laughed when he gave me the piece of paper as our "contract." But I have to assume it’s long forgotten on his part. It’s not a big deal, is it? Just a small breach of trust, isn’t it? I really should just throw it away. But it hurts. I tuck it back in my wallet.

My computer screen flashes the headline news. Same old stuff. Corporate corruption, overnment spending, indictments, severe weather... God, my head hurts…

God. Where have you been today? I’ve been on the short end of the stick all morning. It’s just not fair! I pull my weight. I work hard. I pay my taxes and my tithes. I try to be polite. I’m a good person! Why the injustice?

Frustrated, I click on my online daily devotional. Luke 6:35-37. "I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment" (The Message).

I wonder. Have I ever eaten the last of God’s granola? Stolen his parking spot? Owe him a debt? Duh! He’s given me everything! Everything I don’t deserve. And not given me what I do deserve! Where’s the justice in that? It’s not fair, thank God!

"God, I’m so sorry. Forgive me? Again? Thank you so much for your mercy. For your grace. For your love. I’m no different from those around me. Thank you for loving them too."

What a relief.

If you’ll excuse me, I have a scrap of paper to throw away. Then I think I’ll enjoy a bowl of granola out on the patio…

Sue Berger
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