by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
Recently, my son and I were preparing to spend our Saturday morning participating in Upwards basketball. I had reviewed our game time, the location of the contest, and even factored in additional time just to be safe. On the way to our destination we made a planned stop at an unfamiliar supermarket to purchase snacks for the team. I had been expecting a self-checkout line, but was forced to use the only option of a live checker.
And that’s when my education began, right there in the checkout line. I could feel my blood pressure rise as my precisely timed itinerary was being hijacked by an unanticipated wait at the supermarket. In line ahead of me were two senior citizens both in motorized shopping carts loaded to the full. I only had two items. If only I had arrived ahead of them, or better yet, could self-checkout, I would be done in no time. The customer next to me also had two items, and my eye-rolling and audible sighing helped encourage them to be disgruntled as well.
Another customer joined our line, also with only two items. Now this was a bonanza! All three of us could now share in my personal misery. My attitude in the moment had me at the center of the universe, or at least this particular supermarket. As the two elderly customers fumbled through multiple failed attempts at payment, I was worried we were trapped indefinitely. The customer who recently arrived walked right past the line straight up to the checker. Finally, somebody was going to give them a piece of their mind!
And then it happened. My hard heart broke, and then softened, as I watched this kind soul pay for the stranded couple’s grocery’s for the amount of $138, just like that. I did not miss the opportunity to highlight this tremendous generosity to my son, who was certainly impressed. He agreed that saving your money allows you to help those in need when the opportunity presents itself. He had been listening to the teaching this month on the character trait of generosity, and had just seen it in action in a big way.
My lesson came from Jesus as I reflected the rest of the day on my attitude in that moment. I want to be a follower of Christ, but sometimes my human flesh gets in the way. I don't’ think God was waiting for me to pick up the $138 check. The world’s needs are not on my shoulders alone. He had a plan and it was fun to watch. But I do know that my attitude was certainly selfish. He reminded me of my desire to live out the greatest two commandments. I want to love God and love others daily with my thoughts, words, and actions. Generosity is about giving to those in need. Sometimes I wish generosity was something I could simply check off once a month. I am thankful for Jesus caring enough to not only bless that needy couple, but bless this needy man with an important lesson. May the lessons continue in the classroom and in our homes.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent