I needed to fill up my gas tank yesterday so I went to one directly next to a grocery store. As I sat in my car waiting for the tank to fill up the boys and I watched some poor fellow, working at the grocery store, walk around the entire parking lot (in the cold) collecting all the carts that people had left in random places other than the cart "corral."
After a few moments of watching Grayden asked,
"Mom, why don't people put their carts away in the cage place?"
What a great question!
"I don't know exactly why but it probably has to do with being selfish. Either they don't feel they have time to put the cart away or they just don't feel like walking it over to the cage. Regardless, they are thinking of themselves first rather than this poor fellow who NOW has to walk all over the parking lot, working harder than necessary. Their selfish, inconsiderate actions make more work for him."
I went on further to explain that these aren't bad people who do this, they just simply are too busy thinking about themselves first and their selfishness turns to laziness which makes more work for those around them.
We then came up with a few examples of how WE do the same thing to others: Littering, throwing our food on the floor at dinner, peeing all over the toilet seat, taking something from a store shelf and putting it back in a place it doesn't belong, going to someone's house and making a HUGE mess of their toys...
As we drove away Cole points and yells,
"Mom, that lady isn't putting her cart away."
Too bad our windows weren't down. :)
In Philippians 2 there is a wonderful passage about Christ's Humility. Verses 3-4 read:
"Do NOTHING out of selfish ambition or pride, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but ALSO to the interests of others."
When we act selfishly we are NOT thinking of others and how our actions will effect them. But Christ's actions were FULL of humililty and completely in the interest of His children rather than himself.
Below is a very simple and practical picture of how we can imitate Christ through a humble consideration for the interest of the fellow who collects the grocery store carts.
Join me as I pray the following:
Jesus, may my children grow to understand that selfishness leaves no room for others. May they follow your example of humility and selflessness by putting others first. May they think before they act and consider the interests of others. May they live consistently with a humility that trumps selfishness.