I am Jack’s Abandoned Shopping Cart

So, today… a lot of things happened. Everything that happened today led up to me taking a walk to Mega Foods from Sarah Jane’s house to try and get a ride home because at 8:30, I found myself stranded. It’s about a mile’s walk from Sarah Jane’s house to Mega Foods, so I had half an hour to think to myself. I’ll admit, I was sulking because things today hadn’t gone as I had planned and the sudden onslaught of heat in Olympia was borderline unbearable, leading to a noticeably shorter temper.

I had only been walking for about ten minutes when I saw something ridiculously out of place. Standing there calmly in the grassy ditch by the hedges of one of the roadside businesses of Capitol Hill was an abandoned shopping cart from Mega Foods. I wondered briefly what had possessed whoever had abandoned this cart to bring it all the way out where it was and just leave it; further inspection inside the cart revealed an empty, crushed Dr. Pepper can and a long receipt. I figured whoever had cart-jacked this poor cart had bought more than they had bargained for and had been on foot, so had made an easy getaway with one of our carts.

There was a second where I was torn on which action to take from there. Part of me was like, “It’ll be faster if I just leave it.” The other part of me, the part that’s been getting louder and louder the more I’ve been focusing on recognizing God’s voice when I hear it, whispered that I had an obligation to do what was right: to bring the cart home to its fellows, nestled snugly in the carthouse.

It wasn’t just the right thing to do because I work there; it’s also because I saw something that I knew was out of place that I had the power to correct. James 4:17 – ‘Anyone, then, who knows the good they ought to do and does not do it, sins.’ It’s a heavy scripture to absorb, because it feels like there’s suddenly double pressure on you: not only must you try to not do the wrong thing, it is also wrong to not try to do the right thing! But, it was this conviction that said I must return the abandoned shopping cart to the carthouse at Mega Foods.

I had been carrying my purse, my water bottle, and my ginormous bag that I pretty much carry my life around in with me, and when I decided to rescue the abandoned shopping cart, I decided to dump my cargo into the cart before I dragged it out of the ditch. So I lightened my load onto the cart basket, pulled the cart out of the ditch, and was back on my way.

Here’s when I had my little revelation. It’s short and sweet, right here:

I found an abandoned shopping cart far away from the rest of the other carts. I put my stuff in it and pushed it to its home.

 

God finds us no matter how far away we are from the Kingdom. He puts His life in us and pushes us home.

With original sin came the desire to hide from, or flee from, the eyes of our Father. It’s told in Genesis as Adam and Eve covering themselves with fig leaves, ashamed of their nakedness. Today, it doesn’t take much looking around at all to see how desperately people try to run and hide from God. Everything the world has to offer is to steer us away from God, but how long will it take for it to really sink in that God literally chases us throughout our lives?

I think a lot of people live with the mentality of “I’m too far away from conforming to that lifestyle or mindset. I’ve got too much baggage. I don’t want to give it up just for the sake of trying to be ‘closer to God.'” I know that’s how I used to think. I was so reluctant to surrender my vices, though it’s been so long now that I don’t remember what my justifications were for it at the time. But, yes. Somehow, the guilty child within us that just knows we have done something irrevocably wrong rears its head and strikes a fear (of punishment? of rejection? of disappointment? maybe, even, of unconditional grace?) in our hearts, and we turn and run away from our Father when we should be running towards Him.

He’s been chasing you all your life, after all. It’s the least you can do to turn around and embrace Him with open arms after he’s been pursuing you so faithfully.

And here’s the awesome thing (as if the rest of this hasn’t been awesome enough): the second you turn around and embrace God, He fills you up to overflowing with His life–His glory, His power, His heart-wrenching grace–and this is what gets you out of that situation you felt like you were stuck in before. This is what gets you on the right path and keeps you on the right path.

Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ He is still behind you even after you let Him in. He’s not going to abandon you to your own just because He got you out of the mud once, or twice, or as many times He’s liberated you from the weary constraints of a life lived according to the world. He will never

Numbers 31:49 - and said to him, "Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing.

forsake you to climb your next mountain alone, because no one knows better than He how much we desperately, desperately need Him to climb.

That’s tonight’s revelation. 🙂

Psalm 23:6 – Surely His goodness and mercy shall chase me all the days of my life.

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