Black Friday. One of the busiest and most anticipated shopping days of the year. I call it combat shopping. I did that once. I did not enjoy it. It was not my cup of tea (or coffee). Yet here I am considering it.
In Alaska, when the salmon are running, the fishermen line up on the banks of the rivers shoulder to shoulder and cast their lines. Really. Shoulder to shoulder. All crammed together as far as the eye can see. Someone yells 'Fish On' and then everyone scrambles to allow the person with a fish on the line to capture it in a net. There are falls, trips, curses, shouts, dropped lines, dropped poles, punches, black eyes and even laughter. They help each other and they hinder each other. It's cold, it's wet, it's down right dangerous for goodness sakes. And it's a hoot to watch. As a non-participant. Combat fishing.
Combat shopping can be dangerous and it can be fun too. We go out into shopping nirvana and hope that we can get the best deal possible. Last time I went shopping on Black Friday I saw people come to blows, fighting over the 'last one' of something. Literally hitting each other and rolling on the floor. Nothing I could ever buy is worth that. Nothing.
Tender hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience are definitely called for as 'WE' don our armor and head out for all the possible moments during Combat Shopping. Your hand was on it first and someone else thinks theirs was too, be merciful and give it up. Be gentle and gracious; don't shove, push or grab in order to get that last thing. Treat the customer service people with kindness. You know they have had a rough day. Be humble with your words and in your actions. No yelling 'it's mine' and snatching it from someone else. Patience is definitely called for as we maneuver our way through parking lots, streets and especially aisles. Make allowances for other peoples choices. You don't know what they've been going through. Forgive those who may offend you. Quickly. Make space for fun. Laugh often. Smile frequently. Display love. Good Luck.
Colossians 3:12-15 NLT
"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.