Kamikaze Kate ~ Always in a Hurry by Jo Russell

The 30-something woman wearing work-out clothes with her hair pulled into a quick ponytail careened into the deli aisle at the grocery, pushing aside the other shoppers.  Then she forcefully stepped forward at the cheese case.

“Darn! Where is that block cheese that was on sale in the flyer?” she said out loud to no one in particular.

“Right here,” shopper Rosalie pointed out as she reached for a bag of already grated cheese for herself.  “You’re buying the cheese in bulk to save money, right?!”

“Yeah.” She grabbed the cheese and scurried off to the dairy case in search of the next items on her list. As Rosalie watched the young woman’s progress across the store, she was glad she wasn’t in the way. It was downright dangerous.

Kamikaze Kate” that’s what I’ll call her, Rosalie decided.

At the dairy case, Kamikaze Kate scattered the shoppers as she pushed forward to retrieve her flavor and brand. Kate accidently knocked a yogurt out of a shopper’s hand as the other person was reading the label.

“Sorry. I’m just in a big hurry this morning.”

While the shopper retrieved it from the floor, she noticed the yogurt didn’t suffer any injuries.

As Rosalie made her way shopped her way down her own list, she noticed Kamikaze Kate’s route zig-zagging through the store to the produce aisle. Kate had just collided with a senior lady holding a live basil plant and it fell to the floor.

Rosalie noticed that the senior had picked up the plant, tenderly dusted the leaves of loose potting soil and smiled at Kate. “Fresh basil like this really wakes up spaghetti sauce and anything with tomatoes. It’s great! Smell this!” She herself sniffed the fragrant leaves. You want to try this one?   I’ll pick up another.”

“Sorry. No time.”

Close by, another senior lady was carefully inspecting the portabella mushrooms in a basket, turning them over and checking the stems when Kate stepped up next to her, grabbed a handful and jammed them in a bag.

“You can tell how fresh the mushrooms are if you check the bottom of the caps,” the senior shopper told her. “They should be closed, not open with the underside showing. It makes a world of difference in flavor and cooking.”

“Sorry. I’m in a hurry,” apologized Kate. “Maybe another time.”

Kate rushed out of the store, nearly taking out a couple of shoppers with her basket as they strolled in.  “No time,” she complained.

Time. Each of us has the same 24 hours. Yet in today’s demanding world, compacting time and multitasking leaves little left for what God thinks is important. But what is important?

Described are the characteristics of Christ: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “ [Galatians 5:22]

Even when pushing a shopping cart through the local grocery, those traits can shine on others. None are downright dangerous like getting in Kamikaze Kate’s way. Time. Invest it in God’s plans and ways. Take time to smell the basil and enjoy wherever God takes you.

It’s worth it and so are you. In a subtle way, you are touching the world one heart at a time.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now released for pre-sales on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]




The Rocky Road to Endurance by Jo Russell

Paul was new to the sport of hiking other than the necessity of making it from the front door to the car on the way to his office. Work, I know how to do. Walk – well that, too, but it was never very much fun.

But the senior’s new wife, Carol, had other ideas.

“We’re going to see the historical houses today,” she announced cheerfully, “so bring your walking shoes.”

When they reached the first of the more than century-old houses, he groused, “Do I haveta get out of the car?”

Even over time, Carol didn’t give up. Both were gaining in strength and endurance. So she suggested, “The town is having a celebration walk. Which one of these do you want to do with me – or would you rather be the cheering section?”

He thought long and hard – for weeks. Just about the time she decided the non-verbal answer was “No,” he quizzed her, “Which one is the shortest?”

As the two hiked toward the half-way point of the racewalk, Paul huffed and puffed, “Where is that water station where we get to turn around? We’ve been walking for hours!” But they crossed the finish line with a smile – the oldest couple in any category.

“Well done, Paul,” Carol congratulated him.  “Definitely a thumbs up for the geriatric group!”

On an out-of-town trip to a scenic park, Carol coaxed Paul into traversing “The Waterfall Trail.”  But even his walking experiences to that point didn’t prepare him for the climb. “Geez! Who built these steps! They’re as high as my knees!” He clung to the guardrail that bent downward and disappeared on the rock face. “Whoever they hired to build this trail should be giving their wages back to the boss!”

But Paul made it and looked up at the fern-covered cliff with water misting onto his face. The beauty of the destination was worth it. He then realized that his opinion of walking and hiking was changing. He had built up his muscles and lungs so that his walking wasn’t painful anymore.

Paul’s trials in building endurance pushed him to persevere. Carol was proud of him.

Endurance in the Christian journey is uphill and downhill, and crossing uneven ground, steps and slopes that are difficult. Painful moments of the journey include all kinds of challenges. But ultimately, they build strength and character.

Persevere and have hope in these words:

“We rejoice in the hope and glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” [Romans 5:2-5 NIV]

Whether it’s doing something new that is scary, standing firm in confrontations, setting boundaries, trying the impossible, calling on courage to do the right thing, God is with you. You will be able to tackle those things that are difficult and never have to ask, “Do I haveta get out of the car?” You’ll be first with endurance for the journey.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]