(Post by: Trent Claybaker)

Shortly after our Thanksgiving dinner, my family and I made plans for a shopping trip to wrap up the loose ends for those who we still wanted to get presents for. If I’m honest, I was pretty excited about the trip.

To the best of my recollection, this was the first year that we were nearly finished with all the purchasing well before Christmas Day. (Not sure how your home’s work, but typically mine is hustling at the very last minute for something forgotten, or someone just wants to get just one more thing). We planned to start down South and work our way back to the house. There were only two planned stops, with the understanding that there was the small potential for a possible third.

We hit our first destination relatively quick but unfortunately, it didn’t take long for my excitement to dissipate. Several of the more popular stores at the outlet mall were extremely busy, so much so, that customers had to wait in line outside since the occupancy level had to be maintained.

If you’re thinking to yourself, oh no… you’d be right! What if the lady in line with the three children had a better understanding of Ephesians 4:29, “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it would benefit those who listen”, and chose to use better language when speaking to the teenage boy at the door just trying to do his job?

We wrapped things up there and headed North to our second stop. The shopping there was easy. Not because it wasn’t busy, but simply because we each knew what we were in search of, and our lists were getting smaller. We decided to split up and meet back up at the front of the store where the registers were.

I got there first, and a short time later the girls arrived. The lines were long, and everyone had full carts. I’m a people watcher, and I noticed a husband and wife a few spots ahead. The line was moving but it wasn’t as quick as this couple would have liked. I could almost tell what was coming. What if this couple had been in the Word and had a solid grasp of Proverbs 14:29, “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick tempered displays folly”, rather than let the cashier know how they would run the checkout process.

By this time, I was ready to just be done, and by the silence in the car I could tell that was the sentiment of the rest of my family as well. While I was driving, I was asked if I thought that, on either occasion, those people knew Jesus? We hadn’t talked about either situation at the time, but apparently, I was not the only one to notice what was happening. My reply was vague, at best, because even if I thought that they did know Jesus, they certainly didn’t act as if they did.

It’s somewhat cliché but, what if we really understood the “reason for the season”? What if we chose to live life as we are called to? What if the people on that day knew how to love as Jesus loves? What if we took looking different seriously?

I’m boldly asking… What’s your “What if” for His Kingdom?


Here is the promise we had waited for
He will not leave us in the dark
He will bear our weight
He will wear our shame
Come lift Him high
Behold the Savior
Jesus Christ law of love and light
Come lift Him high
Behold the Savior!
Behold the Savior!

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