Shopping Cart Christianity
The stores know what they are doing. As I walk in I’m trained to look for a cart. Yes, the shopping cart which will make my experience so much easier. We are sold on the convenience. It is so much easier to use a cart than carry the groceries ourselves. The reasoning makes perfect sense for the customer right? It also makes perfect sense for the marketing of products. It has been proven over and over how much more people buy because they have a cart. You may go in with just a few things on your list, but if they can get you to push a cart extra things end up in it! For our convenience they make the cart nice and big too. They wouldn’t want us running out of room in our cart. They think of us by putting a rack down by the wheels. So convenient when we need an extra place for the pop or the beer. The cart also has a kids seat. How handy is that when you have a kid along?
You hear it all of the time in the store. It’s the voices of kids who may be riding in that little seat. The stores know what they are doing. By having that seat in the cart they have made a convenient way to add another customer. Although this customer usually doesn’t have any money, they are a big influence on extra things that get into that cart!
I’m walking through the store and I hear a familiar voice. It’s the voice of a kid and the words are pretty much the same. “Mom, mom”…sometimes the mom ignores them knowing from past experience what is going on. Other times the parent is patient..”no honey, we don’t want that today”. Other times there is a little anger “put that back now”! It is usually the same story. The kid has grabbed something going by or they are trying to reach it. If they can’t reach the item they start in with the “Mommy”. Sometimes the parents give in which is the marketers delight! Often there is a reaction to the no answer. That is when the tears start coming and the loud crying that echos throughout the store. Sometimes the parents discipline their children right in the store which leads to really loud crying.
One of the favorite things that kids want is candy! They must remember that great sweet taste from the past and hey, there it is again! Suddenly it is in the cart until it is discovered. Sometimes it may be a toy or any other object that catches their eye. Smart parents know when to say no. We have been around long enough to know what is good for them!
We could go in the opposite direction. “Sure honey, take all of the candy you want”! “Let me help you put it in the cart”. When they get older we can say “stay out as late as you want, it’s okay with me”! “Sure, you can do drugs, no problem”, “make sure you have a gun with you”. “I won’t be around for hours when you get home, so do whatever you want”. “Whatever you want you can have”. You tell me, which parent loves their kids more? Is it the one that gives them all that they want and doesn’t care what they do?
I’m sure that if you are a responsible loving parent you can see my points. You may even wonder why I am bringing up such obvious things. Yet, there are so many of us that beg God for things and wonder why he doesn’t give them to us. James 4:3 says “When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures. Kind of sounds like that kid in the grocery store doesn’t it?
Is there someone in your life who comes around only when they need something? Hello, Joe How are you? It has been a long time! What’s new? “I was hoping you could help me out”, Joe begins. Oh no, what now?, you think. As Joe continues about the mess he is in and invariably asks you for money or some other favor it gets annoying. You start thinking, this guy only wants to use me and doesn’t care about me at all, except when he needs something.
Sometimes we get into this lottery like prayer. Lord bless me with this or that. We need to realize that living every day is a blessing! Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have enough food and clothing? I’m sure that God looks down and says like a father to his kid “No, you don’t need that today”. Matthew Chapter 6 verse 33 states “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well.”
My former pastor had a beautiful story that illustrated how God thinks. He had a daughter and she would call him. “Daddy”, she would say, “I just called to tell you how much I love you”. “I want you to know that I am so blessed to have you and mom for parents. I am so thankful that you have always looked out for what was best for me! I am so blessed”. When he got off of the phone, he would invariably ask his wife, “Is there anything that she needs?” I can assure you that your heavenly father feels the same way. When you come to him and tell him how much you love him and mean it there is not a good thing he wouldn’t give you. He looks at the heart and the motives. He knows when you are sincere.
So my question to you today is Who is God to you? Is he that father in the sky who you expect to give you whatever you want? Or is he the loving father who says no sometimes because he knows what is good for you? Are you someone who only comes around when you need something? Or do you make it a point to enter his presence just to say I love you?