I am a maximizer.
Always in motion.
Slow is hard for me.
But. I have this persistent prompt to slow down. (Queue the pandemic!) I try to do one thing at a time, but it is not intuitive to me. I know (cognitively) that there is power in slowness. God is there. Not that He is a slow God but that He is waiting for me to be still enough to notice and find Him in the mundane of life.
I do believe we find Him in the ordinary. So many of the miracles of the Savior’s mortal life were done in ordinary situations: walking down the road while a woman touches His hem, multiplying fishes and loaves, calming storms. You get the idea.
So why couldn’t He come to me in a grocery store? Picture this: I’m running a tight Saturday morning schedule, needing to fit an unexpected stop at the grocery store into a tiny window of time. Of course I had overscheduled myself and was trying to do too much. But I needed those few things.
Once I’d found everything on my list, I chose what I believed would be the shortest and fastest checkout line. Except the clerk was slow. So. Slow. He was taking his time with each item, bagging it, checking the price, and chatting with customers. Talking to each customer, carrying on like they were old friends.
Who has time for this? I felt myself starting to get annoyed. Couldn’t he just be quiet and get his job done so I could get on with my day?
Then something in me paused, embracing the uncontrollable. I glanced at the customers ahead of me and noticed two elderly people. I surveyed their cart, trying not to assess why they were buying those things. Something shifted in me, as if the Spirit was inviting me to see them as they really are.
Suddenly I imagined my parents standing in front of me in a line. My mom and my dad. What would I want for them at this moment? How would I want them to be received?
In the slowing down, I saw two people I love. I saw two people God loves. And as they approached the clerk, he readily greeted them as friends. He recalled a previous meeting, asked about their health. He wondered if things were OK for them. I watched as he provided them with a feeling of acknowledgement, remembrance, connection. Perhaps in what may be loneliness, they were suddenly known and cared for.
Time stood still for me. I watched it all, feeling tears well up in my eyes. My heart ached for home. I hoped someone might be this kind in a chance meeting with my parents, extending the same kindness and care, even in a passing encounter.
My turn came. The clerk asked: How are you today, ma’am?
His sincerity nearly stopped my heart. I looked at him and wept openly.
Can I help you, ma’am? Are you OK?
Catching my breath, I thanked him. Thank you for loving, for being so kind.
Oh. That’s my job.
Yes, it is your job. And it’s my job too.
I am a maximizer . . . maximizing every possibility to love more.
I am a multitasker, connecting with God and His children at the same time.
A planner . . . planning for chance encounters to love in His name.
Always in motion . . . on His errand.
Slowing. And hastening.