My wife and I often talk about what we like to call “checkout line creepers.” These are the people who like to keep inching closer and closer to you as they wait behind you in the checkout line, apparently unable to contain their excitement about what they are about to buy. This is less irritating to me than it is to her, but I don’t really appreciate people invading my personal space bubble because they can’t be patient. Are you that eager to leave the store with your diet coke and toilet paper? Please let me finish my transaction and then it will be your turn.
It’s kinda like the people who fight rudely to win the closest parking spot available. Really? It is seriously five more steps from that parking space over there to the door, is that too much for any of us to manage? I guess it’s true that we live in a convenience culture, and it is easy for us to get swept up in this convenience mentality.
The problem with living for convenience is that it is a euphemism for living for self, because what we’re talking about is my convenience being more important that yours. If all we focus on is our own schedule, our own pressures, our own little world, the last thing we have time to think about is others. This is a problem because as followers of Jesus we’re called to be servants, and servanthood requires others-centered thinking. Not to mention that getting all wound up about little things (like where to park) contribute to the growing stress epidemic facing our culture today.
So I’d like to suggest to you (and to myself) that we try taking Jesus’ words seriously today, and practice putting others’ needs above our own. Take second place in line, take the further parking spot, surrender the fight to be first. You might just find surprising joy and freedom in those extra moments and extra steps which, as it turns out, probably don’t make you late like you thought they would.