The Shopping Experience

The grocery store down the street from my house holds a very special gift to all who frequent it. His name is “Ralph” and he works one of the cash registers. What is so special about this person? Read on and you’ll see….

I don’t know about your experience at the store, but at the ones I have gone to, the people at the checkout counter (“checkpout”) are usually too busy with their own conversations with each other to pay any attention to their customers. It’s very sad. I can go through a line and watch the girl behind the register either:

a) having a spirited conversation with her bagger and totally ignoring the customer or
b) having a blasé look on her face that says “I wish I were anywhere but here” and totally ignoring the customer

Have you ever had anyone ask you how you are doing but you know they really don’t want you to reply? That’s the typical person behind the register at any store in this country. (WOW! How many is that?)

Now, let’s go back to that special gift at the store down the street. Any person on any given day can walk into this store and Ralph is there with a genuine smile on his face having a pleasant conversation with a customer. That’s what he does. He rings up your groceries and gives you all the attention. He makes you feel like a special customer without even going out of his way. Now imagine Ralph behind every register in every store. That’s a totally different scene. Not only would we be more relaxed while we’re spending our money there, but we are actually leaving with a lighter heart and even maybe a smile! All because for 2 or 3 minutes we were special. I’m not a fan of bringing this up, but if we are going to call ourselves Christians, we must behave like Ralph. Our demeanor must tell everyone we come into contact with that:

a) we are content with our lives
b) we care about others and not just what they think about us
c) Christ is the center of our hearts.

How do we do that? Especially “C” without going into “preacher-mode”?

After I’ve paid for my groceries and I’m gathering my bags, Ralph looks at me and says, “You are a blessing to us. God bless you”. Then he turns and smiles at his next customer who he heartily greets and engages into conversation.

He just did all three in the span of about 5 minutes. His ministry is more powerful than some of these preachers on TV. Imagine that!

The thing is, we don’t know what he’s going through in his personal life because he’s focused on us not having us focus on him. He is content and his attitude shows it. That’s all we need to see. What’s more, it makes me want to have that same feeling and so I strive to do what he does.

Now compare yourself and see where you stand. All you have to do is count how many times you complain during the day versus how many times you actually pay attention to someone else, giving them help or a smile or anything that focuses only on them and not on you.


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