Not really…But here’s something most people don’t know about my lovely bride…

She has a great husband!

I’m kidding…she has an awesome husband!

Ok…seriously…when she was a kid she had a blood disorder called ITP. Don’t ask me to pronounce the full name or spell it. I could certainly Google it. It’s way too technical for my brain.

The bottom line is to get her back to health and out of the hospital, the doctors had to remove her spleen. I’m no doctor. At all. In fact I passed out last time I saw a needle in a hospital.

I’m a wimp.

But I do know that the spleen is a significant organ for the immune system. The liver takes over some of those functions. Obviously she can live out her spleen. She’s done just fine so far! But she takes a little more caution than most.

Enter COVID.

I don’t know where you’re at on this. And truthfully it doesn’t matter. My job is to protect and serve my wife and family. And that means if there’s a nasty COVID baddie out there, then I take precautions too.

Like for instance, the mail. Instead of bringing it into the house, I go through it outside and only bring in what’s needed.

It’s a change. It’s sort of inconvenient. But I do it because I love her and want to serve her. (And I suppose the kids too 😜)

Or like washing my hands. I will admit that before I was married my hand washing skills and frequency of washing them were, well…let’s just say I covered the basics. Nothing more.

And yes my Mother taught me better.

Anyway.

I wash my hands more now. Probably a lot more than I ever would single. And more than I would without COVID.

It’s a change. It’s sort of inconvenient. But I do it because I love her and want to serve her. (And yes the kids too)

And then there’s grocery shopping at Walmart. I will admit…I’m spoiled. Nicky does our grocery shopping…Normally.

But since COVID. Well, it’s a change. I’m doing it now.

I don’t know who would ever WANT to go to the grocery store. It’s a wonder I haven’t been arrested and thrown in jail!

I honestly don’t know how she does it. I walk in. Check my list.

Instant headache.

I’m constantly calling her and taking pictures of what I think I’m supposed to get but not sure on and texting them to her. I wanna make sure I get the right stuff because if I don’t I might get served divorce papers…I’ve had dreams where she’s divorced me for less…Just ask her about the toaster!

Moving on.

Take shampoo and conditioner for example.

Did you know that they have shampoo and conditioner that addresses every problem in your life? Seriously! Who knew! And trying to get the right one is insane! Why? Because every bottle looks the same!

But I’m just trying to find the one for anti breakage color protecting self healing and do your taxes kind. Envision in your mind’s eye a grown man crawling on the floor of Walmart in the Health and Beauty section reading over every bottle!

That grown man would be me.

Or guys…there’s that aisle for the feminine stuff. That’s just straight up intimidating. I’m scared of that aisle.

Who knew that there was such a variety! Way too many choices for a guy. I have had to call Nicky every time I go to that aisle. It’s all so confusing. Did I mention it’s intimidating? Especially when you’ve got to phone your wife to make sure you get the right stuff.

And don’t even mention that department of “underthings”. I can’t even think about it.

You know…”THAT” department.

Sweat starts running down my face when I look on the list and see the words panties or bra.

I’m starting to have flashbacks of last week.

Instead of just going right to “that” department, I sort of circle it trying to find a way in without anyone noticing me. I pretend I’m Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible. (Cue music!) After a few flybys I make my approach, hoping that no one noticed me.

Because it’s just not right that’s why.

I’m ok being in that department WITH Nicky there. That’s normal. She’s picking out just the right underthings and I’m just staring at the floor.

But without her? It’s just not right!! It immediately feels like every eye is on me. And being a staff pastor just adds to the pressure.

It’s so unnerving.

Then comes the easy part…of getting the food. Only it’s not so easy because your cart is already half full!

And you are shopping for two weeks.

You’re cramming and hanging stuff off the side of the cart hoping it doesn’t fall off. They seriously need to make carts in shirt sizes.

Small. Medium. Large.

And a “feeding two teenagers” size.

That would be the one I need.

And then, just when your cart is overflowingly full and your calves are burning from all the pushing, you realize you missed an item…all the way in the back.

It’s at times like these that I’ve come awfully close to losing my sanctification.

So I start my way back toward the back of the store and get to the aisle containing the missing item on the list. I can smell the wheels burning against the floor as I turn the cart down the aisle I need. It’s not really turning…it’s more like skidding. You’ve been there. You know what I mean.

Let’s continue.

Have you ever been driving in an familiar city and turned the wrong way down a one way street? It’s terrifying. And understandably it upsets those that are driving the right direction.

Yea that’s cake compared to doing it at Walmart. Did you know they have road signs on the floor?

Not only are the people terrifying but you are ridiculed because you couldn’t follow said signs on the floor. I’d rather drive the wrong way down any street than an aisle at Walmart.

Finally the check outs.

Ah! Glorious end. Almost.

Because I have an overflowing heap of groceries and underthings, I can’t unload fast enough before the clerk has filled up every bag at the bagging station.

Oh but I got smart on this one! To remedy this I started grabbing an empty cart on my way to the checkouts. Yes I look ridiculous. But after those other two aisles who must not be named, I really don’t care.

It’s a change. It’s sort of inconvenient. But I do it because I love her and want to serve her. (And my daughters too)

<sigh>

But why mention all this? What’s the point?

Life is full of change. And it’s full of things that are sort of inconvenient – Circumstances that are just gross. Reality check – the only thing in life that’s constant (other than God) is change. Nothing stands still. Talk about inconvenient.

Inconvenience. It begins with I. It’s a reminder for me. It’s never about me. It’s always about Jesus. And Jesus is always about the other person.

The one you see in the grocery store. The one that drives you nuts at work. The one that doesn’t seem to get you.

It’s all of them. And everyone else.

I have said it many times before that you are never closer to the heart of Jesus than when you are serving another.

The Apostle Paul got this idea. Here’s a guy that thought he had “THE” bead on life. He was in control. He had it all figured out.

Then Jesus happened. And some time after, Paul writes this…

“Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.” Philippians 2:3–4

Paul’s eyes fell off himself and onto others. He saw them as Jesus does. And it changed him.

It can change you.

Don’t believe me? Test it out for yourself! In fact I challenge you, even if you don’t buy into this whole Jesus, Christianity thing, serve another and see just how God will honor it. Where circumstances can drain us needlessly if we let them, serving another fills us and comforts us.

I know! It doesn’t make sense. Seems upside down, right? But that’s how God rolls.

When you serve another you instantly transfer your attention from circumstances (which can be draining) to someone else. And God honors that. God comforts us when we serve another. Here’s some more from Paul.

“He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

I’m not making this up. And I wouldn’t stand by it if it weren’t true. God totally takes care of us when we take care of others.

So here’s the deal…ask yourself…How would your life be different if you put this into practice? What would it look like? What would you be doing different? Who would you serve?

It doesn’t need to be huge. In fact in God’s eyes there is no size. It’s all about Jesus. It’s always about Him. It’s as simple as…

Getting the mail
Washing my hands
And going to the grocery store

If I can do it you can too.

Why not serve another in love within the next hour.

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