Missed Timing

Jesus threw me a perfect pass that set me up for an easy lay-up. All I had to do was take the shot; it would have been nearly impossible to miss. But, sadly, I hemmed and hawed and lost my nerve, and that perfect shooting opportunity passed. The moment was gone, and time moved on. Has this ever happened to you?

Well, it happened to me this last Saturday morning, at Costco in Rancho Cordova, again. (As you may recall, this was the site and time for another recent personal failure of mine that I wrote about on this forum. While that was a sin of commission, this was, if it rose to the level of a sin, one of omission.) I was standing in the long line of people and carts waiting to get in when the store opened. I had a cart; the lady in front of me did not.

I assumed that this was a result of a conscious, reasoned choice on her part; I thought that she probably didn’t want or need one. I had mine, and the people behind me (two dear brothers in Christ, a father and son; we “just happened” to all be there together at the same time) had theirs. We waited, basically stationary, for about an hour, chatting gregariously. Then, the line finally started moving; the front doors had opened, or were about to open.

We all suddenly and surprisingly started to move rapidly forward. As we were just about to pass through the doors, the woman in front of me seemed to almost panic for lack of a cart. Twice I thought about giving her mine, but twice I resisted that impulse, as she nervously moved around, trying to figure out if she could still grab a cart and not lose her place in line.

I could have easily given her mine, and let my two brothers in Christ go ahead of me, while I probably could have grabbed another cart for myself, and still gracefully re-entered the line, and entered the store, behind them. But, instead, I watched as the woman in front of me hesitated and fretted quietly about not having a cart.

I didn’t want to risk losing my place in line and not being able to get another cart for myself. She finally went on into the store without one after a few seconds, and I later saw her inside the store with a cart she had somehow gotten, but I could have momentarily made her life and day a little easier and better, and logged a place, however minuscule, in her memory through a kind deed done that would have made her feel valued, and that someone cared about her predicament. I think, too, that she was a sister in Christ, based on a few mentions of thankfulness to the Lord that she had made during our earlier conversation.

In Matthew 10:42 (NIV), these words of Jesus are recorded: “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward." I had the proverbial cup of cold water in my hand in this situation. All I had to do was hand it to her. All I had to do was take the shot and make the lay-up. But I failed to act. And the moment passed. God would have gotten the glory. A few people’s days might have been brightened. May God forgive me for this personal failing. If someone can take something valuable from this experience of mine and apply it in his or her own life, I will feel that my failure can also have even that redemptive value. Thank you for reading, as always. May God bless you!
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