Value people. It's Holy goodness.
So, what are your thoughts and feelings about tractor trailer drivers. Do you tense up when approaching one on the highway? Do you fume when following one up a steep grade? Do you perceive them to be roadhogs? Or, do you value them? They drive for a living. They are professionally trained. They deliver goods and groceries for our purchase and consumption. They have families to feed. They have feelings...
After a meeting last night, I stopped off at the local grocery to grab some things. With a basket full in one hand and a gallon of milk in the other, I approached the checkout. There were two people ahead of me and one man sidling up behind me. As I stepped forward, I turned and said to the man behind, "Do you want to go ahead of me since you only have a couple things?" He smiled and stepped back and said, "No, I'm fine. You have a lot of weight in your basket."
As we stood there waiting, in undertones, the man said, "I should find the manager and ask them why there is only one register open right now." I chuckled and agreed. He continued to tell me all the different times of the day and night that he shops at this location. "I have gotten through check-out quicker at 3 AM, then any other time."
Well, now that a conversation had begun, I asked him what he did for a living. He replied, "I drive tractor trailer. I'll be driving to Pleasant Gap and then hauling sand to New York." Without skipping a beat, I told him how much I appreciated him for working in that vocation. I told him how important his job is to the common consumer. He gave me a smile and thanked me for noticing. He lamented how too few people appreciate his profession. I nodded in agreement.
Within a couple minutes, not one, not two, but three people came out of the manager's office and immediately went to separate registers to care for the now growing line of shoppers. The man chuckled and said, "They must have heard me grumbling." I chuckled with him.
When I motioned the man to grab the next checkout aisle, he shrugged it off and stayed behind me. We continued our conversation in the grocery store and then things turned more serious.
The man sighed and mentioned he had just lost a close truck driving friend. I told him how sorry I was to hear this and he continued to explain the accident that claimed the life of his friend. To see the broken heart in this tough truck driver made me stop and consider all the questions with which I started this blog. Valuing others is something greatly lacking in our world. As I finally checked out, I turned back and told to have safe driving to New York. He thanked me and then I turned to thank the young lady who ran my groceries through checkout and the young lady who bagged them. There is holy goodness in valuing others.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV).