One of my very favorite songs is “When It’s All Been Said and Done” as performed by Robin Mark. In fact right now I have a song headache because it keeps going through my mind. Not only is the melody memorable but the words speak volumes. The gist of the song is that there is only one thing that matters in life when the day is done. The line that is repeated is “Did I do my best to live for truth, did I live my life for You?”. It hits me hard every time I hear it or sing it. It makes me sit back and re-evaluate my life and my daily actions. One of the reasons I love it so much is that my friend, Ann, accompanied me on her violin while I sang it in church years ago and it reminds me of her as well.
We have so many choices that bombard us daily. We embark on a myriad of tasks and adventures that are planned and unplanned each and every day. There really is so much that can happen in a day that we have little or no control over when you get right down to it but our response is what we do have control over. When we are hit by things that are unpredictable our immediate reaction is what the folks around us are going to remember. Will they remember that our reaction was less than Christ-like or will they recall that we responded to it with grace and mercy? Hopefully as we grow and mature in our faith we will learn to react to difficult situations with Christ-like behavior.
The other day as I checked out at one of my favorite stores the cashier did not greet me, did not acknowledge me or say one single word to me during the entire transaction. Since I could use the machine to process my debit card I guess there was no need for conversation. Even when I picked up my numerous bags (why can I NEVER get out of there for less than $50?) she did not say a word!!! So I looked at her and said “thank you” to which she did not respond at all. I was astonished!!! As I walked out to the car the couple that was behind me in line caught up with me and told me that she didn’t speak to them either and that they had made a big deal of saying thank you as they left but still no response.
So was I showing Christ-like behavior when I thanked that cashier? Probably not because most likely I had a sarcastic tone in my voice but I would like to think that a simple polite exchange in a department store would be an avenue to do the right thing and show Christ’s love in some way. Perhaps I should have really tried to engage her in conversation. Perhaps I should have taken a more active role and taken more interest in her instead of the bags I was packing into my too full cart. But maybe next time…..maybe next time I will remember the words of that song and really try to live my outward life in a way that it demonstrates Christ and shows that I am living daily for Him. One can only hope that we get second chances at things that we don’t do well the first time around.
What do you think about second chances? Do you offer them?
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Very great post Beth Ann! Really makes you think. I also l love that song and sang it in church. A family friend plays the flute sound thing on his electric sax thingy that sounds exactly like the recording. Gives me goose bumps every time.
I am not surprised that is a song you have sung in church as well. It is so beautiful when accompanied with different instruments, isn’t it? I love it. It is going to be at my memorial service somehow. 🙂
Thankfully, the people in my life have given me second chances and I them. Even third, fourth or whatever it takes. Until any of us is perfect, we’ll all need some do-overs. I hadn’t heard the song before but it’s beautiful— very Celtic, haunting tune. Thoughtful post that came just when I needed it.
Thanks—I am glad you liked the post. Sometimes I just have to be reminded that it is okay to not be perfect but …..I still need to be aware of my shortcomings and strive to do better.
What a wonderfully reflective post (another one for the devotional book) that causes me to stop and think about the times I’ve used that sarcastic tone, not responded in the way I should. By God’s grace we are all given second opportunities. We learn from our mistakes and do better next time.
Who knows what burdens this clerk carried that day she failed to acknowledge you?
Thank goodness for God’s grace!!! Where would we be without it? I am sure in a far different place than we both are today. 🙂
Thanks for sharing. I always need to remember this. For me the hardest part is just slowing everything down so I can be thoughtful and present in my reactions. The best we can do is try better next time.
Yep—that is what we can do. Try to do better the next time around. I fail a lot.
Second chances are opportunities to show grace. I wish I could say I always offer that, but the truth is I have to be reminded, which is exactly what your post did for me today. And yes, that song is beautiful. My guess is that cashier was troubled over something and that’s why she was so unresponsive. I bet she needs our prayers.
I think you are probably correct that the cashier had her mind elsewhere. No excuse for me to be snotty, though. I love how your describe second chances. So very true. Thank you!
This is an awesome post! This is actually something that I’ve been working towards the last couple years. Being more thoughtful in my words & actions. I still fail plenty, but I’ve also noticed a change in myself as I’ve forgiven others quicker and gave second and third chances. Sometimes it’s hard, but it is what God asks of us and thank heavens offers us!! He is good!!
All the time! I realize it more and more each and every day.
You know, part of me says that cashier was merely having a rotten day and needed somebody like you to show her some kindness. The other part of me insists the store manager should have been alerted to her sullen behavior before she runs off customers!!
That might be the other side, you are totally right on that. But I can get a bit of an attitude and I suspect I had one this day!
I hate to think of my many not so Christ like reactions. Gah.
Me, too. Ugh.
What’s with us not being perfect eh?
I AM doing a lot of Soul Searching. My life is has been cleared to have a second chance myself. I have learned to love myself. Others might not know how yet. So I wake up and make the intention to be conscious of all of my choices. Through out the day I send silent I love you’s to people I see. The unmindful cashier I compliment in someway. Even if they don’t acknowledge it’s ok, it wasn’t anything personal against me and more than likely they will let that compliment seep in eventually and hopefully that little compliment will start a little glimmer of light in their heart. Even they deserve a second chance right? <3
YES!!! Exactly! I tealize my need to be acknowledged at times limits me and what I should be doing! You are amazing and i am so glad you are in my life even if it isnt a face to face thing right now. Love you!!!!
I’m pretty sure I’ve been given second chances, and third, and fourth…I should be able to offer that, too. Sometimes just too busy, and that’s the problem. TOO busy. Very few clerks say “thank you” any more. I usually end up thanking them for serving me. I wonder how business owners feel about that? It used to be expected of the employee to thank a customer for their business. They are the representative.
What a fantastic post! I try to do the same in my daily routine. I know that I’m very grateful for second chances 🙂
So strange! I had the same lack-of-interaction at my local mart yesterday. I chalked it up to maybe her being new and concentrating really hard??
That could be the case! Definitely! Funny how it got to me, though!
I’m not a fan of poor service or being blown off. A sarcastic thank you might have woken her up a bit and saved her job or perhaps the store a customer. I’m pretty sure my god gives people hell sometimes just not forever. :-D.
You always make me smile with your comments, Katybeth. I am not a fan of poor service at all and most likely that was all that this was but it made me re evaluate myself a bit. I can be distracted quite often (just ask Chris today!) and it made me think that I need to be more aware of that. Love your last sentence. 🙂
Absolutely I do – in most circumstances. Because I know from myself, there are times when I can barely manage the day and whatever I am feeling is so dark, or has so tight a grip on my heart and mind, that sometimes I am not aware of others. I am consumed by my own self in that moment and do not mean to be rude. But the truth is: I just cannot mange normal human interaction that day.
And I try to tell myself that if I feel that some days – even though it is rare — there just has to be others who have those kind of days too. And perhaps they have them in alarming frequency. Or they have social anxiety and cannot function as others do. Bascially, I am just trying to be more aware of the battles others may be facing, that have absolutely nothing to do with me, or with the current situation. And I find that definitely makes it easier to extend some grace to others if they have behaved somewhat badly (for lack of a better word).
I think it is impossible to know what others are going through at any given time. I try to muscle through things and not let it show if I am worried about something but it does not always work. My goal, as well, is to just try to be more compassionate and and not jump to conclusions as quickly about why that person is acting the way he/she is! Thanks, Les!
The song says a lot and your blog today says a lot. I know you practice what you preach.
I liked the song and the message he was giving and I know you practice what you preach.
I try. But I had good examples of how to do that. 🙂
Sometimes when people are having a bad day they just need to be left alone. I’m not sure trying to ascertain why this checker was not being overly polite would have gleaned the reaction you might have hoped for, especially if there were other people in line behind you. Your good intention may have instead embarrassed her.
I think maybe the best thing would be to say, “I hope your day gets better” with a smile on your face as you were leaving.
Yep—exactly right. One never knows what is going on with someone and my being all ticked off did not help anything I am sure!