When I was a child, before there were mega stores, internet shopping, Prime delivery and Instacart, there was Fred Meyer – B & B – as we so fondly called it. This store was a precursor, I suppose, to mega stores. One end of the store was anchored by the clothing and shoe department. Next was the grocery store, then a restaurant and the other anchor was the drug store. It was a one stop shopping experience for sure.
In the grocery section, you filled your cart with necessary food items, took them to the cashier and paid. The bagger then inserted a brightly colored number tag into the front of the cart and gave you the same number to take with you. This allowed a person to continue shopping, if needed, in the other departments, or drive to the pick up door to retrieve the groceries. Drive up service wasn’t invented this year, folks!
I really believe Mom tried NOT to take us shopping with her. With seven children, she usually opted to leave the younger children home with the older kids. But once in a while when the older kids were at school, the three little kids (as we were lovingly called) got to tag along. This was a great day indeed, especially if it included lunch at the restaurant. I loved B & B!
We always ordered the same thing – cheeseburger, french fries and a milkshake. It was so good! Probably why I still love it today! The french fries were crinkle cut, the burger was 1/4# on a freshly grilled bun, the milkshake was thick and chocolatey!
At the end of the meal, the same thing happened every time. Mom dipped her napkin into her water glass and washed our faces. I can still feel the icy cold water on the paper thin napkin scrubbing away any remnants of ketchup. It makes me smile! Once in a while, if Mom’s water was gone, she used her saliva to wet the napkin. That wasn’t as pleasant.
There is another memory I have of those lunches. My sister always had more fries on her plate than I got on mine. I don’t know how in the world the cook always knew which plate was mine, but it never failed. She had more.
There were other areas where I perceived I was shorted; I had less. Less attention, less friends, less liked, less invited, less chosen. Somehow the areas where I excelled didn’t seem to matter so much because I didn’t feel chosen.
In sixth grade, one of the popular girls (so you know she knew what she was talking about) asked me, “Who would ever marry you anyway?” It confirmed that my unchosenness would continue into adulthood.
I remember looking forward to the celebration immediately following high school graduation. You know, when everyone goes outside and throws their caps and hugs their friends, laughing and crying all at the same time. That wasn’t my experience. It was lonely and I wanted to leave. I didn’t feel chosen.
I believe this is the experience of many. It might not have been at high school graduation. It might have been last week at church. Or at the work party. Or at the neighborhood cookout. Or at the family reunion, wedding, baby shower or middle school football game. We don’t feel chosen.
For so many years, I heard the voice of the younger me pointing out when she didn’t feel chosen. And I listened. As an adult, I continued to struggle. I still didn’t feel chosen.
In the years since B & B, I’ve made some observations regarding chosenness. And I’ve had experiences of being chosen. Chosen by my husband (yes, someone chose me), my friends, my community. But more importantly, chosen by my Creator, my Father! Scripture tells me that God chose me before he created anything (Ephesians 1:4). That means before I had the opportunity to do anything – good or bad – I was already chosen. And he chose me to be holy and without blame in his eyes.
He didn’t create me and then choose me to do dirty work. He didn’t have in mind that I would be his robot or his slave. He didn’t create me and then leave me to my own devices to watch me struggle. He chose me because he loves me and he wants me to succeed, to be the best version of me. And because he created me, he knows what that best version looks like.
This week we will take a look at what it means to be chosen. What are some of the strategies I learned? How did I come to live from a place of chosenness? I look forward to spending time together every day!
Until next time…
May the Lord bless you and protect you.Numbers 6:24-26
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.