Saturday, May 16, 2015

Our Daily Grace

I just needed a pair of new running shoes.  Instead of buying online, I decided to purchase them at a non-franchised local running store.  The young man fitted me with what he thought best for my foot, although they did not have the width I usually wore.  "Give these a try," he said.  "If they don't work, you can bring them back."

After a few days of wearing them inside, the shoes still didn't feel right. I wanted to try a pair in my usual width.  I returned to the store.  An older salesman greeted me.  He did not have my size in the store, but he said he could order me a pair for an $8 shipping fee with a $20 non-refundable deposit.

I did the math. "So if you order me the other size and it does not fit, I would be out $28?" He just smiled and nodded his head. To make a long and difficult story short, after the owner came over, the clerk finally agreed to waive the extra fees and order the shoes.

As I exited the store, I felt uneasy.  That older clerk had been just plain ornery.  He made a simple purchase a lot harder than it needed to be.  He didn't treat me right. Just about all the way home, I justified my feelings, reciting every insult and injury.  And that bitter taste grew worse.

When I arrived home, I put on my OLD worn-out shoes and went for a run in the heat of the day. There is nothing like a good sweaty uphill run to calm the savage emotional beast in me.  Because on those runs, God meets me for a real workout.

Before the first bend in the road, I realized those nasty feelings were nothing other than sin. My sin, not the clerk's, not anyone else's but mine.  I have learned in the past that when a tsunami of justifications rise to the occasion, hmmmm, that would be my pride.  How do I know?  Grace responds.  Pride reacts. Insults, injury and injustice  just don't stick to grace.

Fill me, O LORD, with the grace needed for the task today.
Even in what appears the most ordinary errand of all.

I was hit out of the blue with an opportunity to practice grace in this, even in this. And I almost missed it.
I thought I just needed a pair of running shoes.
What I really needed was
                                    a new heart.

Give us this day
        our daily grace.

...desiring to act honorably
            in all things.

                 Hebrews 13.18

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