Yesterday was a traditional shopping day for me, my sister, and my mom. Every year we set aside one day to shop til we drop. And boy, did we. My entire body hurt last night from the top of my aching head to the bottom of my blistered feet. It was worth it because I got most of the items on my list.
It was also a success because I kept the Christmas Spirit. Usually, I strive to display a Christ-like spirit throughout the year and especially at Christmas. However, there was one year that while shopping, my saintly halo went flying through the air when horns popped right out of my head! According to my husband, I looked and acted like a cross between the Devil and the Grinch!
My son and I had purchased the same toy for my daughter. I agreed to exchanged mine. Because of the long lines in the toy store, I waited to swap the toy when my husband and I were almost finished shopping. I think it took me about 20-25 minutes to get to the register only to discovered that I couldn’t swap the item without the receipt. Didn’t they know it was their toy? I had it in their shopping bag. I didn’t see the problem. I was a honest person.
Arguing my case with the teenage girl got me no where. She stood firm. Then, I lost it. Leaning over the counter I shouted sentences that are but a blur in my mind now. However, I got to make my swap. Satisfied, my husband and I continued down the mall for one or two more items.
For some reason, my husband felt it was his job to play the “Holy Spirit” and convict me of my wrong-doing. While I was paying for the next purchase, he warned the clerk to be nice to me. “Don’t cross her. Just give her what she wants and nobody will get hurt.”
“Hey.” I said innocently. “What are you doing?”
“Oh, nothing.” he responded. “I just don’t want to see anyone else get attacked today by the Grinch.”
“Was I that bad?” I asked.
“Let’s just say that girl may have nightmares for the rest of her life at Christmas time.” My husband is good at feeding me humble pie when I need it.
I pulled in my horns, tucked my tail, and returned to the scene of my crime. Again, I stood in line for another half hour or so at the toy store. When I got up to the counter, the girl looked at me with fear. “Oh, you remember me,” I said sheepishly. “I just returned to apologize and ask your forgiveness. I acted rudely. You were right all along.”
It was as if the activity in the whole room stopped. I hadn’t considered the people around me before I made my confession, but I was noticing them now. The person to my right looked at me like I was an idiot. I could read her face. “You stood in this line for half and hour to say you were sorry?” But the lady to my left was smiling with approval. Her face said, “You did the right thing. You took a bad situation and turned it into good by acting as Christ would.” The teenager accepted my apology and all was well again.
That’s what’s so amazing about the Christ child. Because of His birth failure is no longer the end for a Christian. When we fail, we have options. We can remain in our failure and allow it to destroy us, or we can take the high road by making the wrong right. It’s through Christ, my Savior, who makes it possible for me to recover from my failures. That gives me great joy and reason to celebrate His glorious birth!