Friday, April 7, 2017

Security Takes a Holiday: Part 3

Have you ever had times when you wanted to yank your hair and scream because of frustration?  Waiting for results or answers can sort of make us all a little crazy can’t it? 

For some of you this is the second or third time perhaps that you’ve checked here.  Even though you may have been disappointed or “put out”, hey, you’re here!  That shows diligence; a sign of maturity and something God can use during frustration.  It also shows that the timing was most effective.  I guess you can tell where this is leading. 

Sadly others checked for the update and figured there wouldn’t be one so they may not return.  They like being able to predict and control all their actions or movements thinking others will line up with their schedules.  What we’ve been learning over the course of weeks is that we can’t do that when it comes to the lives of others, and we certainly can’t put a deadline on God’s agenda.  

By now we realize that in EVERYTHING there is something to be learned, but we are not always being tested. 

With that being said, shall we pick up on our story where security took a holiday, at least briefly? 

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Stuff Happens
One thing I can say for certain is that life isn’t dull and if you think it is you aren’t looking at people!  “Stuff” is always happening – some good, some bad, some just plain funny or weird. My life … weird stuff is taking the driver’s seat lately.  Well, I should rephrase that, I’ve been in the passenger seat watching this happen in hubby’s life. 

Now that the sharp dressed man was long gone and the turmoil from the beginning of our excursion had subsided, we hit our shopping groove and went about our business.  Things went smoothly with no rushing or sense of urgency.   

Where Is that Boy? 

I was ringing things up at the self-checkout when hubby decided to go to the ATM inside the store.  Not really good timing on his part especially since I was almost done.  Keeping a watch on what he was doing I slowed down my pace of scanning items to almost a complete stop so he’d have time to get back before I was done. 

Glancing over to the ATM machine I noticed the hubster wasn’t there.  Without a word to me he changed his plans.  Want to guess what he did?  If you said visit the restroom you would be right on the money.  While right next to the restroom he decided that he would visit one more time before leaving.  

By now I was finished checking out and was ready to feed the machine the money for the goods we purchased.  Looking down the aisle to my right there was no husband to be found.  In my mind was, “Where is that boy?” 

That Good Old Bench 

Leaving the “essentials room” in a bit of a hurry to get back to me, hubby almost bumped into the bench outside the door, (you know that good old bench where we first saw the quick change artist).   
Looking down to avoid hitting his leg he saw something quite unexpected; “frumpled” (partially folded and crumpled up) money on the end of the bench.   

He didn’t see anyone near the area and no one was sitting on the bench. His immediate thoughts were to return the money to its rightful owner as it says in Deuteronomy, but whose wad was this, and how could he return it if he didn’t know who lost it anyway?   

“If you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep or goat wandering away,
don’t ignore your responsibility. Take it back to its owner.  
If its owner does not live nearby or you don’t know who the owner is,
 take it to your place and keep it until the owner comes looking for it.
Then you must return it.

  Do the same if you find your neighbor’s donkey, clothing, or anything else your neighbor loses. Don’t ignore your responsibility.
Deuteronomy 22:1-3 NLT) 

It was just “there” calling out “here I am” … waiting as if a gift from Heaven beckoning to be picked up and used.  Grabbing the cash discretely he came back to me at the check-out. 

A side note here, earlier that morning I prayed and asked God to provide for a new vacuum cleaner.  Remember the one I said that constantly gives … it spews out everyone it digests?  Could this be pennies from Heaven (I suppose dollars would be more accurate)?

Why is this happening to me?  Again!   

I was wondering what was taking my husband so long when here he comes practically at a gallop towards me with his arms close by his sides like he was in a straightjacket.  Weird … I thought. 

“Why is this happening to me?  Again!  Why did I get out of bed this morning?”  I could hear hubby saying as he came closer shaking his head in unbelief.   

What is it now, I thought, that has him so worked up?  In about five seconds flat with uncertainty in his voice he explained what happened and turned his hand over disclosing the new found funds. 

He didn’t even give me time to react except to ask how much it was and that it didn’t belong to us.  Instead of waiting until we were done, he abruptly took off and headed to customer service.  Once again he left me with a shopping cart of unpaid groceries and him forgetting to leave his wallet. 

We’re at Defcon 3 Folks 

Now this is beginning to get awkward.  As I stood there awaiting his return the annoying register kept saying, “Do you wish to continue?”  I pushed the “yes” key numerous times drawing the attention of the security guy at the check-outs. 

Sure, forget about the guy who changes into a new set of clothes in the bathroom and walks right out the door.  I’m just waiting for my husband and security zeros in on me for a second time that day.  The first time was when I was in the garden department with my pocketbook in the cart.  A security guard asked if I was taking something out of the store without a receipt!  Awhhhh – frustration building. 

Security went from non-existent to Defcon 3 in a matter of seconds.  I thought of asking the interested employee to go and get hubby for me, but oh that’s right … he couldn’t leave until he was relieved. (Now who’s being sarcastic?) 

Charity begins Here 

Reporting back to customer service, the same lady he talked to about the "clothing exchange" was still in command.  She called for the assistant manager who instructed my husband to leave the cash with him.  If no one claimed it in thirty days the store will donate it to a charity of their choice.  

A bit of speculation washed over hubby’s thinking when the manager suggested he give him the money, especially when he said in a condescending tone, "Of course we can't force you to do it, but..."   Was he one of those "name it and claim it" people that believed someone else's loss was meant for their profit?

Money, money, money! Unclaimed cash, no identification … hmmm “charity begins here” … could have been what came to mind when the manager said to give him the money.  Holding his ground hubby made other arrangements with the store and rejoined me at the check-out. 

As we began to leave a fellow believer and longtime resident of the area entered the store. Sharing the last incident she agreed my husband had made the right decision. 

When Timing Matters  

Lord, all we wanted to do was get cat food and a few groceries.  We weren’t seeking drama, adventure, or to interfere with other people’s lives.  

Looking back we can see how a few minutes either side of the events we experienced would have kept us from being smack in the middle of them.  However, it is obvious that the Lord wanted us (hubby) there at those express moments in time.  Apparently timing does matter. 

So many times we need to make split second decisions and aren’t always sure how to handle them.  Do we stick with morals and do what God says?  What if the situation isn’t exactly crystal clear in the Bible, what do we do then? 

Please Take the Polls 

What would you have done in these situations?  Would you have reported the man or just let it go?  Would you have butted in and told him that what he was doing was wrong?  Was it possible that the man had already paid for the clothes and decided to forego getting a bag and just changed into them before he left?   

What would you have done with the money?  Would you have picked it up waved it in the air shouting, “Anybody lose this?”  That would have created a nice little mob scene.  How about leaving it at the store and just going on your way taking no responsibility to see if the funds were returned to the rightful owners?  That would have been the easiest thing to do. 

Take a few seconds and let me know what you’d do in taking the polls to the right of this page.  No one knows who it is, so you can be honest. 

I’ll give the results before the next posting and then they will be closed.  (Please leave your answers in the comment section if the poll gadget is not showing.  Your answers will not be made public.) POLL CLOSED

POLL RESULTS from Security Takes a Holiday: Part 3 (4/7/17)

Would you snitch on a person stealing?
Yes (33%)
Not sure (67%)

What would you do with the found money?
Give it to the store & forget it. (33%)
Give it all to charity. (67%)
Mind Your Character 

In recalling the “King’s new wardrobe” incident, my husband made the choice that in order to prevent the man from getting into trouble he would buy the clothing for him given the opportunity. 

As for the second incident, the character of a man remained intact because the focus wasn't on gaining from another person’s loss.  God wants us to stay in “character” as the image bearers of Christ regardless of what situations He brings into our journey. 

Regardless to what the employees of the store did, we tried to do what was right and honorable in God’s eyes despite how it looked to the public.  This was one thing that caused the posting of this to be later in the day.  We wanted to do things according to the law in waiting and that was after the regular posting time. 

To clarify things, our frustration didn’t come from waiting for this situation to be resolved, but waiting on God for answers as to why my husband witnessed these incidents.  Not knowing where favor played a role, or our part in this, was really weighing on us. 

What we realized was that God sometimes calls on His children for “favor” but it’s never unmerited.  He simply wants to include us in His plans and wants to be included in ours. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Favor for God’s Trust 

Friends, sometimes God just wants us to be there for Him. He doesn’t have a grand scheme or some tremendous test that we must pass (although sometimes He does), but He has seen the character we maintain in all situations.   

Most of the time it’s we humans that have a hard time trusting God in a situation and rarely do we think of it the other way around.  The challenge this week is to check our own moral character with the trust factor God is looking for in each of us. 

Here were two very different types of stealing.  One witnessed and one that we could have taken part in if that was where our hearts were.   For these particular situations God placed my husband where He needed him and I viewed it from the sidebar.  

Would I have made the right decisions that pleased the Lord and showed that I could be trusted, without expecting favor compensation from Him?  I can tell you that paying for the man’s duds wasn’t the first thing I thought.  Maybe if it were a woman … hmm? 

As we go about our business have we made room in our plans to include Daily Favor for God’s plans?  Can He trust us to stop in the middle of our routine schedule and let Him use us no matter how strange or weird it may seem?  In other words, are we the moral vessels of honor God can use? 

“Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter (immoral acts),
he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master,
prepared for every good work.”  (2 Timothy 2:21 NKJV) 

For my vacuum cleaner … we haven’t parted ways ... yet!  Oh, but there will come a day of rejoicing! 

Something special to share with you ...
As a worship leader I look for songs of integrity that are based on scripture for our congregations and me to sing.  Our video this week is a song I sing that isn’t on You Tube.  I first heard it around 2001.  It is from a ministry in music that we have used for twenty years.

Yours to Use by Discover Worship (formerly Worship Today)

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Until next time, God favors moral living! 

“Moral lifestyles receive favor from the Lord.”
Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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 A Man and His Ethics by John Grening on Daily Favor Blog

by John Greening

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