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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Inspiring People

"Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high? He dwells on a cliff and stays

there at night; a rocky crag is his stronghold. From there he seeks out his food; his eyes detect it

from afar." (Job 39:27-29, NIV)

Watched a TV show awhile back that demonstrated an eagle's amazing eyesight. The eagle was fitted with a camera. In some incredible footage, this bird soared high above the earth scanning the landscape and at an appropriate moment, its handler called to the bird. In the midst of buildings, parks, streets, and many people milling about, this eagle picked out the handler and glided downward right onto the handler's arm. It's highly likely the bird is operating partially on a conditioned reflex toward the call, the handler's clothing and body movements. No matter, it's still impressive to know how an eagle's eyesight dwarfs human capabilities. (Get ready for a "look a squirrel" moment.)

Just yesterday, I went shopping at the local grocery store. My basket held:

3 Packages of english muffins

2 loaves of bread

2 cans of pie filling

1 package of hotdog buns

2 packs of hotdogs

1 bag of apples

6 bananas

1 gallon of milk

I usually don't bother with shopping carts. I also don't have a gym membership. I like to think I'm getting a mini workout carrying my little basket loaded down with stuff. As I departed the store and walked across the parking lot with my three bags and milk, I watched a woman struggling at her car.

I'm no eagle, but I do keep my eyes open for opportunities to be helpful. She was perhaps nearing 70 years of age, leaning heavily on a cane, and trying to manage a purse and her keys. She was parked four slots away from the cart corral (Is that the name for where they keep the carts out in the parking lot?). For whatever reason, she was limping slowly away from the store toward the carts (Even though there were carts just outside the store entrance). With both of my hands full of bags and a milk jug I hollered, "Would you like a large cart or small one?" She stopped and looked a bit confused and a little embarrassed.

I first of all was inspired that she was shopping with an exceptional limp (probably in pain as well) and having to use a cane. I was then inspired by what she said to me. "Oh, well, I would like a small one, but I should be helping you." As I shifted all my groceries into my left hand, she continued with the inspiration. "You have your hands full. Thank you so much."

The only small cart in the corral was lying on its side. So I carefully bent down grabbed the cart picked it up and maneuvered it out of the spot and toward the lady. She was so positive and encouraging. With a big thank you, she placed her purse in the cart and used it for her stability.

WOW! I hesitated for a moment and tried to figure out what had just happened. I have been conditioned over the years to keep aware of those who are in need. I have been taught to think of others before I think of myself. My eyes are always scanning the landscape looking for a place to shine the light of God. Yet, as I tried to be of some help to a lady in the parking lot yesterday, I think I was the beneficiary of something far greater. An unassuming lady with a multitude of physical ailments taught me the lesson of gratitude. She could have and should have been parked nearer the store and used the carts just outside the entrance. I personally think she parked away from the store and decided to use the carts out in the lot so others less fortunate than her could take advantage of the closer parking and carts. Inspiring people are , are, well, they're inspiring!!

Given the self-centered "me first" society in which we live, it would be easy to tunnel vision our way through life never interacting with anyone. We could choose to neither help anyone nor have any hope of receiving help. What a terrible thought. Thankfully, God has created us to be social beings, to interact with people around us, and to be persons of positive influence. Always be alert and aware of people around you and see if you might be of assistance to them. Who knows but what you aren't the one to be blessed and inspired by them!

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