For I was hungry and you gave me food…Matthew 25:35
Yesterday we went to Costco’s to obtain a membership and pick up a few items to complete our menu for Thanksgiving dinner. As we waited in line in the Customer Service area, I looked around the warehouse and acknowledged to my husband, that I had never seen so many people inside a store. The customer service rep was very friendly and we chatted as she completed our membership. I mentioned to her that I was retired and she asked me what did I do with my time. I shared with her that I was a writer of Christian devotionals and had a dedicated weblog, along with my favorite hobby of crocheting and spending time with my husband and family. She told us to have a blessed day as we parted.
The most interesting part of our conversation involved Costco’s doing an hourly count of individuals entering the warehouse and shopping on Sundays. The range is usually from 150-200 with holiday peak times reaching 250 per hour. If I had to give a numerical estimate of the individuals who were shopping when we were there, I would guess 400-500 including children. The massive parking lot was filled to capacity along with supersized carts overrun with food and decorative items. When we completed our meager shopping of seven items, I felt relief as we were walking toward the exit. In response to the door employee’s question of “how we were doing,” I replied, “I am just glad to see the front door.”
As we celebrate the bountiful blessings from God during this season, please remember those who are experiencing famine in their lives. There are many ways in which we can become actively involved with alleviating the suffering of others. The giving of our time and/or money as a volunteer in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and community centers is an excellent way to give back. In addition, many churches have weekly or monthly programs to provide for the underserved in their communities. There is always a shortage of willing individuals to make the sacrifice and serve others.
I realize that God allowed the customer rep to ask me the question regarding my time because I need to go above and beyond donating monies. The next time that someone asks, “What do you do with your time?”, I will be able to include the answer that I help those in need by________________________. We need to fill in the blank by leaving the comfort of our homes through active participation. It is the only way that we can truly celebrate thanksgiving to God for all that He has provided us with.
Let us set a new goal from this day forward: Give, give, give.
Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of provisions. I have not extended myself in helping those who are in need. Please help me to look beyond myself and become actively involved in alleviating the suffering of others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz