Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cash only

Today I had two places to visit on my way to work. I bring in cookies and donuts for the employees and I needed to fill up my car. I got all the way to the Giant Eagle grocery store and realized while I was pulling in that I didn't have my wallet. I retraced my steps and realized I had accidentally left my wallet on my dresser. The usual feeling of panic, then frustration, then anger quickly ensued. Then as I was heading back home to grab my wallet I remembered putting $60 in my back pocket the day before. Thank God I always wear the same jeans multiple days in a row! So I quickly turned back around and headed back to the store!

Two thankful points: Thank God I realized I didn't have my wallet before I got all the way to the checkout! And Thank God I wasn't all the way back home before realizing I had a wad of cash in my back pocket. God had other plans for me this morning.

Then I thought, "Oh man I can't use the self checkout aisle because you need your Giant Eagle advantage card to use that automated check out machine thingy...I'm going to have to go to the aisle with an actual person!"

So I went into the aisle and had a nice conversation with a partially disabled young man named Carl working the register. I seemed to make his morning by being nice and thankful. I even made him laugh and then thankful he didn't have to bag my groceries because I had my own bag and bagged the cookies & donuts myself.  The total came to $19.80. So I used my first $20.

Then I thought, "Huh, that's interesting, cash forced me to interact with another person and not just a machine." So I headed over to the in-store Star Bucks to get peppermint mocha latte's for the wonderful front office ladies at work and of course my beautiful wife. And then had another pleasant cash exchange with a Barista named Josh. The total came to $19.90 and I used my second $20.

After that I headed to the gas station and pulled up to the pump and since I only had cash I had to go prepay at the tiny pay hut in the middle of the gas station.  I went up to the window and had another great conversation that seemed to wake Charles's up! So I pre-paid $20 of gas with my last $20. And as I was walking away I thought, "Yikes, that must get pretty lonely in there just sitting out your shift."

Its interesting to see how God works in your life if you pay attention. I realized I had no money, then all of sudden I had $60 cash in my back pocket. Its always so subtle. There were two paths I could have taken this morning. I could have stayed upset that I was so forgetful and annoyed that I had to deal with all these people now. But God taught me a lesson this morning. The convenience of credit cards is great, but be careful how you might be selfishly going through the motions for your own quick conveniences. There are a lot of nice lonely people out there waiting to wait on you and give you your change and connect with you even for a quick second. I feel like I was more connected to the community. Albeit in a very small way, but an important way. Consider doing some of your transactions in cash. It forces you to slow down and interact with people. Are you really in that much of a rush? Is your life really that busy that you can't stop and converse with people and maybe change their day for the better?

What are some other places other than the self checkout at the grocery store or the gas station in which you could converse with people other than machines?

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