I have had a nasty attitude today. I don’t like me like this.
Is it hormones? Possibly.
Is it this season of the year? Potentially.
Is it my location? Positively!
I’m writing this on my phone in WalMart. FULL DISCLOSURE: I write whenever and wherever the Spirit prompts me, even when I have a van full of meat and groceries from Sam’s Club and food sitting in my basket.
Let’s get something straight: if I don’t like me like this, I need to do something about it.
More than likely, other people don’t like me like this, either. My focus is off—it’s totally inward and all about serving myself. That’s gotta change.
I say hello to a random person down Aisle 17 as I’m picking out spice cake mix for my “Famously Easy Pumpkin Cookies” for Thanksgiving week. She looks at me and gives me a nod and a half-smile “What up” look. That went marginally well.
As I stroll the aisles my brain feels like it is getting shrink-wrapped and my senses are becoming numb. My ability to logically reason and remember to check my shopping list is rapidly evaporating.
Where did Strawberry Pocky get thrown into my cart? What are these…Cheetos? Good call, just hide them when you get home, I try to remind myself. Husband doesn’t need to know…
Seriously??!? I don’t even have the kids with me! I have absolutely no excuse why I’m running rogue.
As I turn the corner, there’s an older guy, slightly unshaven with bright eyes, in a cool green bomber jacket and a Vietnam cap quickly wheeling down in his electric shopping cart who almost hits the front of mine.
Really, a newbie at the holidays? Ladies, DO NOT send your husband, your father or your boyfriend to the store without prior experience.
Now my friend Billy M. the Baker—that is a guy whose got grocery store game! He is legit. But as for the rest of them, this shouldn’t be a man’s first rodeo when we’re all at critical mass and in a time crunch!
Green Bomber Jacket says, “Oh!!” with surprise.
I reply, “No, you go ahead,” with the half-smile I picked up off the lady in Aisle 17.
He laughs, “Thank you!” and that half-smile on my face widens. Maybe first-timer shopping men are just the comedy relief God sends for uptight Christian writers in WalMart for the holidays.
Why am I so uptight? What’s got my goat?
Can we be real?
Could it be I’m tired and overloaded? My body is telling me, Yes, yes, you are, and you need to chill out, Church Girl. My white blood cells are popping all over my lymphatic system and my bones are telling me to rest. The symptoms are screaming that the body is getting sick but I don’t have time for that.
Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially not at the holidays!
Come on, y’all.
People are on my nerves. WalMart is on my nerves. And both of them are a necessity to life in this Midwestern town.
When everything around me is the problem, I have to realize I am the problem. When I am pointing my finger at everyone else, it needs to be pointing right back at me first. And so I wonder when I am just shutting down and shutting in on myself, and every “annoyance” is just irritating me to death, is it all about me? Um, yes.
What. A. Grouch.
Did I mention I really can’t stand myself right now? I need a serious attitude adjustment.
As I go on through the store, Green Bomber jacket surprises me again. Although this guy is flying through at the pace of the eighties love ballad music playing over the speakers, it’s still pretty fast when you’re strolling at “Perusing Speed” in a WalMart-induced trance.
(Is that “Endless Love” by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross playing right now?)
He apologizes again and I tell him with a big smile that I’ll take the right-of-way this time.
He says, “We have to stop meeting like this!”
To which I reply, “You’re right! I’m a married woman!” and we both burst out laughing outright.
It takes effort to come out of a mood, particularly if it is illness- and holiday-induced. We have to be determined and make a choice. Will we cave to our surroundings, our appetites, or our moods, or will we belly up, gut through it, and do what Christ has called us to do?
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Deny yourself*take up your cross*follow me,
There aren’t any commas. He didn’t take a breath. It’s just a straight command. If I call myself a Jesus-follower, then I have to deny myself(ishness) and take up my cross, even when it’s not convenient or when I’m a big fat grump.
Jesus, you take over and I’ll follow.
Later this week on Black Friday, there will be lines out the doors here at WallyWorld. The mad competition for the Fastest Grabbers and the Bargain Shoppers will begin.
I will be absent. That kind of competition might make me loose my salvation or at least would cause me to outright sin. I’m just not that strong.
Ironically, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” is now playing as I am self-checking and leaving the store. I am internally chuckling. I knew the devil lived at WalMart but I’m done shopping for the week.
Take THAT, you stinkin’ bully boy, satan—I’m back in the right frame of mind, focusing outward, and standing firm in the faith once again. You didn’t win today. At least, not until I get to ALDI…