Stocking the shelves at Martin’s

Yesterday we were at the Martin’s in Cumberland (it’s a grocery store chain).  We were buying Mrs. Smith’s frozen pies.  We bought all the cherry, dutch apple, and blueberry pies they had.  We are buying them for our Wednesday night community dinners.  I found a guy in the butter section and asked him if he would check to see if they had any more in the back.  He was putting out more butter and moving it around.

I probably interrupt the employees at grocery stores more than most people because I’m always buying large quantities for our dinners. Sometimes it’s obvious to me that the employees are a little irritated when I ask them to go check the stockroom or refrigerator or freezer for more of an item.  I understand many of them are underpaid and they have a lot of work to do.  I’m not angry when they get irritated.  I really hate to bother them.  Yet, I also know that if I, and people like me, didn’t shop there, they wouldn’t be working there.

I’m reminded of this quote from Western PA UMC BIshop Tom Bickerton:

“My life and work is far more tied up in you than your life and work is tied up in me.  I am not, nor ever should be, your job.  But you are my job.  My calling is to help you be the best United Methodist you can be.  Your calling is to spread Scriptural holiness across the land and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

I know that my primary job is to lead Wesley Chapel UMC and minister to the people who go here and the people in the community who don’t yet go to church here or anywhere.  It’s a big job.  But one God has called me to and one He has equipped me for.  And your job, whether you go to church here or somewhere else, it to be Jesus’ disciples in your church, in your home, at your job, in your community, and in the world.  The hurting, lost, and broken people you and I run across are not a distraction and should never be seen as an irritation – they are precisely why Jesus is keeping us here on earth to live out these earthly lives.

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