Life in the Slow Lane
We’ve gotten so used to a speedy life of instant gratification, instant messaging, instant email, instant delivery of packages, that I think we are forgetting the gifts we receive when we slow down and get our heads out of our phones and into the eyes of the person who is standing next to us. Now, I seem to have an uncanny talent of being able to pick the slowest check out line at any store. I’ve often remarked to those who sidle up in line behind me, “If you’re in a hurry, you might want to pick the other line. I have a penchant for picking the slow line.” Some move right on, but others smile and many times I’ve enjoyed an unexpected conversation that is amazing…maybe even life changing. Here’s one life in the slow lane moment I remember from years ago.
It was one of those days when I had a gazillion things to do and was feeling a little frantic. I walked up to join the shortest line at the check out stand at the grocery store. In front of me was a mother with her young daughter in tow. I had one item and their shopping cart was filled to the brim, but knowing the slow line is usually where I end up, I was resigned that I would probably be late again for whatever important appointment it was that I was going to.
Mom turned both her daughter and herself towards me and said,
“Please go ahead of us.”
“Really? You have no idea how much that means to me today.”
“Yes, please do. I want to show my daughter that there is still grace in the world.”
Then they both smiled and stepped aside to let me pass. I had never thought that the grocery store check out line would be a place to teach a child in such a sweet and simple way about grace and generosity of spirit but here it was–right in front of me. The entire encounter, brief as it was, is something that has stayed with me since that day.
Being able to give a little extra time is an act of grace. A small unassuming quiet act can make a difference in the lives of those around us. Today, try life in the slow lane and you may get where you need to go faster than you think.