Saturday, August 11, 2012

#114 Self Checkout

Are there things in this world that irritate you?  Are there things that just get right under your skin?  Of course there are.  We all have things that we either have a distaste for or that rub us the wrong way or that really irritate us.  Sometimes we call these things our "pet peeves".

In my questionably humble opinion self checkouts are the bane of the modern retail world.  Yes, yes I know that lots of people use them and think that they are the greatest thing since buttons on a shirt, but I do not and will not use self checkouts.  Why you ask?  It's actually very simple.

Every item that is sold in a given retail establishment is priced with the cost of the labor required to stock the items on the shelf and to ring out the items when they are ready to be purchased.  In other words the price you are paying for every item has calculated into it the cost of paying the people who work there to put it out for sale and to assist you in buying it.  So when you and I ring out the items ourselves we are throwing away money.  Every time you wave an item across the scanner, make your payment, and bag your items you throw away money because the store schedules less workers because you are doing the work they used to hire people for.

Some retail locations take it even further by attempting to force you to use the self checkouts because they realize how much money you save them by doing the work yourself.  They "force" the use of these lanes by placing them closest to the store exits.  The staffed checkout lanes are all the way to the center of the 50 checkout lanes.  The store is banking on the idea that people will be too lazy to walk all the way to the center registers where paid cashiers are working.

Now my wife would disagree with me on this topic for sure.  She loves the convenience of not waiting for long lines of people to flow through the manned stations.  She likes letting the kids scan the items and bag them.  But I am thankful that she patiently waits with me in line when we are together.  I would have much less aversion to this new way of doing business if the stores gave us a small discount for doing their work or if they at least gave us special coupons to save money on our next visit.  So until they start doing that you will find me in line letting the store earn its overhead.

"Take a deep breathe, relax, and now make a point."  The reason I bring this up today is that it's really silly how many things we let bother us.  Yes, I feel that it is a principled issue and not simply being too lazy to check out my own items, but is it really worth getting worked up over?  How many times do we irritate the Lord because of our foolishness?  I'm actually afraid to know the answer to that.  No doubt there are countless times that our foolishness causes heartache to the Lord and yet He lovingly and patiently keeps working with us.

If God is patient and long suffering with us how much should we also be toward one another?  It's almost as if we feel entitled to being able to get upset over foolish things when really we too are called to be like our Lord.  When Paul wrote the epistle to the church in Galatia he told them how to know if they were connected to God.  He wrote that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22, 23).

I have to admit there are too many times that I have not been long suffering with people.  There are too many times that I have not been kind, gentle, good or self-controlled.  But today I want to have a fresh connection with the Spirit of God that I might bear fruit worthy of His presence don't you?

Dear Father God,
I thank You for bearing with us in our foolishness.  I thank You for not giving up on us.  Please forgive us where we have failed You today.  Please forgive us for all the silly things we do and for all the grievous sins too.  Today we long to be close to You with a clean heart.  As You grant us forgive us please also fill us with Your Spirit that we might bear fruit worthy of our God.  We love You and pray now in the precious name of Jesus, Amen!

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