Shoplifting the Hard Way

21 Nov

(The following excerpt is taken from “Retail Ready: 90 Devotions for Teens in the Workforce”, available for purchase on Kindle for $7.99 or in print from Amazon for $9.99.)

Read: Matthew 6:25-34

“For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on… but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” – Luke12:22b, 30b-31

Shoplifting puzzles me. But shoplifters puzzle me even more. While I met more than a few during the course of my retail career, there were several who had elevated their thievery from base robbery to an opportune art form. Capable of removing merchandise from our store with skill and creativity, I sometimes felt that I ought to have been giving out awards rather than urgent calls for management. And such was the case on this particular afternoon.

I had been casually chatting with my customers as they made their way through my line, enjoying the small-talk if only for the fact that it filled that awkward silence between the merchandise being placed on the counter and my request for payment when a gentleman approached my counter with a large supply of garden chemicals. He placed them on the counter without looking at me and I proceeded to ring them up while attempting to make friendly conversation. Each time I would say something to him, he would respond with a mumble and, presuming that he had a speech impediment of some sort, I didn’t think twice about his lack of engagement.

I had finished the sale, accepted his cash, and was in the process of counting back his change when I got my first full look at his face. I had to do a double take since his cheeks were puffed out as though he were a chipmunk. As he left I stared curiously wondering just what rare disease could cause a person to be so sadly deformed.

He had not made it through the front door when I had my answer. As the light hit him, it also glinted off several objects protruding from between his lips. In a flash, I realized that he was shoplifting a mouthful of nails. I confess that I was too surprised to do anything about the matter. In fact, I couldn’t help but wonder why, with his large bulky jacket, he had chosen to shove them all in his mouth instead of his pocket! It would have been so easy to escape unnoticed if only he had done the obvious thing.

And therein lies the moral of our story: it seems to be a standard human fault that most of us make things more difficult than we need to. Even as those who have professed faith in Christ, we tend to spend our time storing up money and possessions, things which we will need in the future. Yet God has promised to take care of these very things if only we will trust in Him! This doesn’t mean, of course, that we never plan for the future, but it does mean that our plans must always be subject to His plans and that we can rest in the knowledge that even when things don’t turn out as we envision, God still has things fully under control!

Challenge: Are you doing things the hard way, focusing on making provisions for yourself and your future? If you are, commit to letting go and letting God. Only He can be fully trusted to meet our needs!

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One Response to “Shoplifting the Hard Way”

  1. patgarcia August 16, 2012 at 11:04 #

    Hi Anna,
    This spoke to my heart. Just last week, God sent me a note with a gift from someone I don’t even know. The person is anoymous. But what impressed me was the scripture that came with it, because the question of whether God really can care for me was on my mind. The scripture was from Joshua 1:5. With that card and gift and that scripture accompanying it, from whomever it was, God showed me that he is able to take care of me.
    I loved this article. It helped me.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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