Thursday, November 30, 2006

Share The Love

I received this a few days ago from one of my church family members.? It's a message I've been reminded of many times in my own life, but never heard expressed so well.

The holiday shopping season has arrived along with stress, short tempers, tight budgets and long lines. Several years ago, my young daughter and I were discussing the stress of holiday shopping. I am infamous for my impatience and short temper. It isn?t something I?m proud of and the subject of personal prayer. During this particular discussion, we decided to try something new. We were going to "share the love". When faced with poor service, rudeness and the like, we decided to smile and show God?s love ? no matter what the situation. It sounded like a great idea at the time but I had no idea how tough it would be! It wasn?t long before we were placed in a situation to be tested. As I came close to taking a cashier to task for something I can?t even remember now, I felt a nudge at my elbow and a reminder from my daughter to "share the love". I took a deep breath and smiled, and then another deep breath and smiled. It wasn?t easy but we left laughing about how much it took for me to "share the love". There were many more times that holiday season to share the love and over the years since, we?ve shared the love many times.

Anyone that works in retail today has seen the changes in the treatment of customers and treatment by customers. Sometimes I want to speak up and ask if their mothers know they are acting like that but I don?t, I just "share the love". Now many years later, my daughter works in retail. She remembers those lessons that she learned and wishes there were others out there who could do the same.

This holiday season challenge yourself to have more patience, many more smiles, greater appreciation to everyone you meet. Whether it is the harried cashier or the rude driver, just "share the love". Take a deep breath, smile and treat the person as you would want someone to treat your child if he or she were in that situation. You may need help. Ask your shopping pal to hold you accountable and remind you at the right times! I promise you ? you will leave that situation holding your head a little higher, a little less stressed and the respect of those who witness your behavior.

Reflect Christ in everything you do this CHRISTmas! "Share The Love!"

DeAnn Colegrove


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