Today, I was blindsided.
In deli, we usually wait and let the chef handle all the dirty work. But when we got swamped today with $5 meal deals, I did what I had to. The chef had shredded the chicken and gotten everything ready. All I had to do was add the dressing. So, I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed the “napa chicken salad” dressing, and went to work.
I almost asked the chef if the napa dressing was used for the original chicken salad. But I felt déjà vu hardcore, and KNEW (or thought I did) that napa was the same as original when it came to the dressing. I remembered, supposedly, the chef telling me that exact thing. Confidently, I mixed it all up and set it in the deli.
About twenty minutes later, my boss comes out of the door and glares at me. And in a half-whisper, with a tone you can only find in horror films way past the kids’ bedtime, she said, “Why…?!” Then she said to come see her in the back. I was pretty sure she was going to eat my face, chew it up and season the ruined chicken salad with it. I was trying to remember the last time I’d updated my living will.
The meeting turned out to be not so scary, and the chicken salad was fine. Actually, the three customers I told about the screw up and let sample the salad to make sure it was okay with them told me it was better than usual. Thumbs up for me! But the day was just getting started.
Customers were rushing left and right to get their meal deal, normally $8.99, which any sane person would take advantage of. By the time I got off work, I was beyond tired. And I still had to go to Walmart.
There, I got some groceries and got the cart loaded up. When Gabriel said he was thirsty, and I was thinking how awesome a cinnamon pretzel sounded, we stopped at the inside Subway. Then having sticky hands, we stopped at the restroom to wash them. And in the midst of all of that, I somehow managed to attempt to walk out the door without having paying for anything. Wow.
This cute little door greeter asked for a receipt, reasonably concerned, as I had no bags. I tried in hysteria to tell her what had happened, and I literally almost walked out. I know she thought I was trying to steal. So when I actually did go back to pay for it, my debit card wasn’t working. Per usual. I ended up having to scrape the last of my cash up and putting half of it back. Let’s talk about embarrassment… At this point, they’re thoroughly convinced that I tried to steal, I’m sure. So I raced out with what I could afford in groceries with my measly cash and left.
At the first stop sign in the parking lot, I got honked at, and told I was “number one,” by a much older *ahem* gentleman. And being as how Christian girl was once a rebellious teenager, I went back to my roots. Yelling at the man who couldn’t hear me, I said, “You wanna rush me along? Fix my breaks and I’ll floor it out of here, ya old bat!” But I didn’t say bat… I did floor it out finally. I had to. And my breaks started grinding. Badly.
On the road, I started shaking. I was enraged. My whole day had been one frustration after another. I couldn’t handle it. I’ll take being sad over being angry any day, because I don’t get angry often enough to know how to handle it. I wanted this emotion to turn off. I was angry at myself. I was pissed off over chicken salad, and my exhaustion, and my Walmart trip, and my breaks, and the driver, and the stop sign, and… Then I stopped.
I felt the Holy Spirit fall over me like a blanket. Right there in my car, I heard him say, “Jessie? We got you, girl.” I knew it. I’d almost fallen into a trap; a vicious cycle of anger and depression that could’ve ruined the rest of my week. That’s what the enemy does, isn’t it? He seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. He sets up traps to trip us, and if we fall for the traps, we’ll end up knocked on the ground every time.
Jesus is a comforter; a healer; a provider; a conquerer. If we’re following him, who’s gonna be able to raise even a butter knife to us? No one! Not even an old man behind a horn. The chicken salad was awesome today, better than usual. And thanks to a shy little door greeter, I didn’t become a shoplifter today. Whew! My breaks didn’t fail, and we managed to park the car in one piece.
Whether you look to the left or to the right, you’ll hear a voice that says, “This is the way. Walk in it.” Today, I hear a voice telling me not to let the sun go down on my wrath, but to take heart! This world that I get so angry in has already been overcome. I hear a voice telling me today that I am surrounded with happy Jesus angels! I don’t even know what that means, but I KNOW I’m covered! And there’s not a minion on hell or earth that’s going to steal my joy.
Honk all you want to, old man. I got my Jesus on!