Be Barnabas for Christmas

11 12 2016

I have a heart for folks who work in stores like department or convenience stores, many ofRock _n these people work hard for small wages, still I salute their spirit for wanting to work. (Now this isn’t about the debate on minimum wage or anything so stay with me.)  During the Christmas season the load can really get heavy with longer hours on their feet waiting on customers, constantly restocking products and the like. So, I make sure I’m always pleasant to these souls whenever I can. Just the other day I was in one of our local retailers waiting in a long line to get checked out. The gal at the register was working feverishly to get everyone through and out the door. When it was my turn I greeted her with a smile that she acknowledged only for an instant. Then I said, “I just want to say thank you for your diligence and hard work to take care of this mob that comes through here this time of year; you do an awesome job and I really appreciate it.” The girl stopped and now looked me straight in the eye. “You don’t know how much that means to hear those words after all the ones who have yelled or cussed me because they had to wait too long in line or couldn’t find what they were looking for. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas.” Before leaving I stopped in at an in-store café for a cup of coffee; when I came out I looked over at my new friend who was still working just as hard as she could, but was now smiling and making conversation with the customers. And I thought, “Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ bout.” Now please don’t think I’m blowing my horn to say what a nice guy I am, trust me I’ve got my faults. But I wanted to pass on to others how just a small kindness, a Christmas gift if you please, that you can give and it won’t cost you a dime.

Leaving the store and driving home I thought about my encounter with this young lady, and the name “Barnabas” came to mind. This man shows up in the Bible first in the book Acts and later on in some of the epistles as he traveled with the apostle Paul. His given name was Joseph, but because of his heart to help others as well as spread the Good News of Jesus, he was given the name Barnabas which means “son of encouragement.” Not only would he seek out ones in need but he sold land and gave it to the apostles to help the poor. I have feeling with a handle like son of encouragement there was more to his charitable ways than just monetary.  I can’t prove it but I have a feeling he was the type that went out of his way to say an encouraging word to as many with whom he crossed paths.  And I also think that as he walked away perhaps he looked back over his shoulder to see a smiling face where there wasn’t one before; “Son of Encouragement.” Awesome!

Now let’s face it, we’ve all been there; sometime or another we’ve felt downtrodden, disillusioned, maybe even a little worthless because of some situation. Then along comes a person with the right attitude speaking gentle and uplifting words; and suddenly your spirit soars as you realize not only do they see you as special, but that you are special.

Charles Spurgeon once wrote; “I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”

So I’m asking, I’m challenging you, would it not increase your feeling of the Christmas Spirit to perhaps make just one person smile and feel special for a moment. You just might be the spark a fellow “Traveler of the Rock Road” needs to remember the true meaning of the season.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Now for me and my Lady there are some extra little things we do to encourage others this time of year, quietly without anyone else knowing what it is or who it came from. Wanna know what it is?

Hey, I told you, it’s a secret!!!

Besides, if you put your heart into it, keeping it just between you and God, you’ll be amazed what you’ll come up with. Even more you’re going to receive the joy of Christmas perhaps in a way you never experienced before; I know I have.

What da ya say, Friends and Family, can we be sons and daughters of encouragement to others?

I’m betting yes!

See you next time.


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2 responses

11 12 2016
Beverly Crane

Thank you for this reminder John. I don’t let the clerks in stores know how much they are appreciated this time of year and always. I will for sure on my very next shopping trip. What I do very often though is compliment people on how they look whether it be a new sweater, hairstyle or whatever. I always think if a person feels good about themselves their whole day will go much better. Any type of compliment goes a long ways! Did I veer off your subject? Anyway keep these blogs coming. Love reading them every week.

12 12 2016
rockroad

Whatever way God leads you to be a Barnabas is the right way. Go forth and shine your light!!

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

John

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