Okay. So I’m going to regale you with a story.
When I was a little girl I remember getting my panties all in a wad when I went to the grocery store with my mom and watched the grocery store people stuffing bags of chips on the shelf, mercilessly reducing the chips in those bags to rubble.
I wanted to poise my little-girl self with hands on my hips and cry out, “Don’t crush the chips!!!”
If looks could kill.
No wonder there are so many tiny broken pieces of chips in the bottom of the bag. When I was little I didn’t like the crumbs. I wanted my chips completely whole and unspoiled. I wanted them all in one divine piece when I put them in my mouth (never mind the fact they were immediately crushed between my teeth), but n0-o-O-o-o…the Chip-Crusher had to push and shove and smash. (they’re chips, people! not sardines!!)
I just could NOT understand why it was necessary to shove so many bags of chips onto one measly shelf. Couldn’t the grocery store people be a little gentler? Kinder? After all, chips are fragile. It doesn’t take much to crush one.
Well. I have a bit of irony for you.
I am now the Chip-Crusher. Don’t hate.
Yes. I stock chips at a local Piggly Wiggly.
And yes. I push and shove and smash every single one of my chip bags. Sometimes I think I hear Taps playing as I push my cart from the stockroom to the floor, loaded with boxes of Original, Ripple, and BBQ potato chips.
Breaks my heart to pack ’em in and reduce ’em to rubble like that. Sometimes I still hear my little-girl self, “Don’t crush the chips!” I even feel an urge to tell them I’m sorry.
It’s such an unglamorous job. Stocking shelves and sweatin’ like a pig at The Pig. But seriously, we sell a lot of chips. There’s the ever-so-popular sour cream and onion chips. The green onion chips. The no-salt chips. The jalapeño chips. The hot chips. The dill pickle chips. Then there’s the pretzels in all shapes and sizes, cheese balls, potato sticks, onion rings, and pork rinds (picture me sticking my finger in mouth and gagging. can i say, disgusting? but hey, i think it’s a southern-thang. can you believe there’s actually at least 6 different varieties of pork rinds? Pul-EE-ze).
And I pack ’em ALL in. The more the merrier. ‘Cause chips sell.
Here’s the thing, though. I do a lot of thinking when I work. Except when my stomach is rumbling and I need to feed it. That’s the only thing about working in a grocery store. You can’t get away from the food. Usually my stomach rumbles right on time. I’m very good about packing my lunch because, No, I do not eat the chips.
I like to think of ways to make my work more spiritual. I don’t know. I can’t help it. God is on my mind a lot. So I was thinking how it grieved me as a little girl to see the stockers crushing the chips and how I’m now the one doing the crushing. For some strange reason this bothered me even more.
My little girl’s mind was so simple and basic and pure back then. Not perfect, mind you. But pure in the sense that I didn’t know a whole lot about a whole lot, but I knew a lot about what I knew and I knew chips were fragile. They were easily broken. In my simpleness it seemed so unnecessary to treat them like they weren’t. What was so hard about stocking bags of chips without crushing them? All that was needed was a softer touch. A gentler hand.
It wasn’t really practical, though, but sometimes practical is good. Simple can be a good thing. Not foolish simple. Or dumb. Or even boring. But simple…easy. Or easier.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t make things so complicated.
Adult-ing is hard work. Sometimes I don’t want to adult. Sometimes I just want to think simple. Like a child. ‘Cause children have a purer faith. Whole and unspoiled.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them,
‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’
And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.'” Mark 10:13-16
Coming to Jesus for salvation was a no-brainer for me. I still remember walking down the church aisle at the age of 8 and taking my father’s hand. He actually got down on his knee to receive me. It wasn’t long after that he baptized me in the river. Things were simpler then. I still believe in my salvation, but I have trouble sometimes in the trusting department. And faith requires trust.
Faith doesn’t have to be hard, but sometimes I make it hard.
I push in doubt. Smash in fear. And shove in worry.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to crush me. I’m kinda fragile like that.
It’s in this weakness that I feel most like a little girl again. Because I can’t even tell you how much I love it when Jesus places His hands on me and tells me to “Come.” It’s the thrill of my heart to know I can go to Him when I feel I’ve been packed in like too many chips and there’s all these tiny pieces at the bottom of my heart. That’s when He takes me in His arms and blesses me good.
This is the simple child-like faith I strive for every day of my life. Whole and unspoiled. Because it’s uncomplicated. And, truthfully, I like simple things.
So this is my story, but it’s not over, yet. God is still writing it. It’s a good thing, too, ’cause crushing chips isn’t who I am. Deep down I’m not a crusher. I’m a builder,
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7