Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Hard times often bring out the best in people. Do they bring out the best in you?”
I’m not a shopper by nature. I dislike shopping and usually try to avoid it. Especially in big-box stores. These days I do a lot of my shopping online or, if I have to go to a store, I know exactly what I want before I go in and I make a bee-line for it, I get it, and I get out. So, I’m not a shopper.
But I do like the Food City grocery store in our neighborhood. I like it because it is bright, clean, well-organized, and upscale. But what I like about it even more is that the majority of the workforce are senior citizens who live here in our retirement community. I suppose some of them are working to earn a little extra cash, but most of them are just looking for something to do with their time and they enjoy being of service to others. That being the case, the staff at this store are always smiling and chatty and eager to be helpful. They enjoy themselves as they provide a needed service.
Yesterday I was at the check-out counter and I asked the elderly lady working the register if she was concerned about having so much close contact with people during this COVID 19 outbreak. She smiled and said, “Oh, a little, I suppose. But I’m pretty healthy, and I’m observing all the recommended protocols. But I also enjoy being able to do this. People need groceries, even during a pandemic, and I’m doing my part to help us all get through this.”
I love the attitude. Sweet, kind, and inspiring. The fact is that hard times often bring out the best in people. When entire communities are struggling through a shared event like this, people tend to come together and find ways to help each other. A giving and even sacrificial attitude often emerges and spreads, and suddenly examples of kindness and compassion are all around us. I’m especially proud of our community here in Cumberland County, Tennessee for the way people have responded to the inconveniences and challenges of this pandemic. To be sure, there are a few knuckleheads, but overall people have used common sense without panicking, and they have shown real concern for neighbors and a willingness to help others.
Ideally, not only should that be true of the community in general, but it needs to be true of Christians especially. Above all other groups in our community, we are the ones who should be calm and rational, kind and compassionate, demonstrating a genuine concern for others, and with an eager willingness to help.
In general, hard times often bring out the best in people. But my question for you this morning is, “Do they bring out the best in you?”