I don’t know how you do your shopping, but when I go into a store, I have a list and a mission — get in and get out. Come to think of it, most of my day is spent like that. I’m focused on checking off a list of tasks.
There’s nothing wrong with being goal-oriented. But I recently came across a story that’s been circulating on Facebook, and it reminded me that God’s to-do list always trumps our own, and for good reason. Otherwise, you might miss out on a very special blessing!
Like many inspiring movies and books, this short story may be fictional. However, the impact that this work will have on its readers is very real. Enjoy!
Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went. I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"
"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.
"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."
"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked. "Yes," I answered."How old are you Denny?"
"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"
Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."
She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.
God’s blessings are all around us. But sometimes we miss out on them, either because we’re too busy to notice them or we’re too afraid to answer God’s call. God will often ask us to step out of our comfort zone — to step out of the boat. But when we step out in faith and keep our eyes on Him, we get to be a part of amazing things!
I pray the next time you encounter a blue rose, you’ll take the time to say hello. And the next time you feel that stir in your heart to step out of the boat, come back and tell us how God blessed you for obeying the call!
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