Gathering Together

“Put Back that Shopping Cart!”

It all started one day when I was shopping.  I put my groceries in the car and pushed the cart off to the side, just enough to get my car out of my parking space.  I never put my cart away where it should go.  After all, that is what they pay their employees for, right?  One day I pushed my cart aside as normal and I heard in my spirit,”Put the cart back where it goes.” I said “Me?”  Of course I ignored the request and I jumped into my car and drove away. 

The next time I went shopping I did not put my cart back and I heard it again. “Put the cart back where it goes.”  A second time I left, but I felt an uncomfortable tug in the pit of my stomach.  You know, that uneasy feeling we get when our conscience bothers us.  I thought to myself, “It is not a big deal.”  Week after week passed and it kept happening. I tried to ignore it but it would not go away. 

One day I decided to walk the cart back.  After I did it I felt great, and so proud of myself. I thought I must be crazy to get so much satisfaction doing what is right on such a small issue.  But none the less, I felt good inside.  I decided that I was going to put back my cart each time.  I was doing pretty well when one day it started raining and I said to myself, “Surely God does not expect me to walk all the way over there in the rain to put back a stupid cart.”  Please keep in mind that at that point I was obeying God, but I know I was not having a good attitude about it.  Well I did not put the cart back and went to go get in my car.  I felt that uneasy feeling come over me again, so I got out of my car and stomped over to the cart and walked it, well probably more like I ran over and put it back.  I was mad that God was making me do this all the time, but afterward I felt that I had done the right thing. Time went by, and I was faithful each time, of course it rained, snowed and the wind blew me away, and don’t forget that I always got a parking spot a mile away from any cart return area, but I did it anyways.

I knew I had come to the point that I was being faithful each time and my attitude even got better. It became a habit.  The reason I wrote this little story is funny because a couple of days ago, I was walking to the cart return when I heard in my spirit, “You see that cart over there? Put that one away too and take the trash out of it and put it in the trash can.” I argued and thought you have got to be kidding me.  I told God “You’re really pushing it.”  I think I actually felt the spirit chuckle a little at me.  Well, I did not think it was funny.  I went to go get the cart, and, of course, it was stuck on an island and I had to practically pick it up to get it off of the ledge.  It was comical.  I was trying to navigate two carts at the same time, one in each hand.  When my long walk was over, I was breathing hard.  I managed to get the carts put up and then I heard, “Don’t forget the trash.”  I was faithful. I picked it up and put it in a trash can that, thankfully, was right there. As I walked away I heard, “he that is faithful in the least is faithful in much.”  Then the lesson finally hit home.  The reason God had been dealing with me for so long about some insignificant thing like putting a cart away was clear to me.  He was teaching me a valuable lesson. He taught me that the little acts of obedience’s we are willing to do are very important to him.

God has really evolved me in the area of being faithful in what is least.  Most of us consult God on our big issues, and that is the way it should be, but it has been my experience that a lot of Christians do not think they need God in the small areas or small decisions in their lives. The Bible says in Luke 16:10 (Amplified Bible)

10He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much.

I hear those words in my spirit sometimes.  God is always fine tuning me and just when I think I have something mastered, God broadens my understanding and takes it to a new level.  As I mature, God gives me more and more to be responsible for.  I think that is because of my obedience.  I thought the lesson was learned until one day I heard in my spirit, “Pick up that trash that someone else dropped,” and I thought, “Here we go again...”

By Kristine Mulholland

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 © 2011 Copyright – Kristine Mulholland