I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. John 15:11
The sound broke my concentration as I was looking for my favorite flavor of ice cream in the supermarket freezer.
What was that noise? I realized it was coming from the aisle next to me. Sounded like one of the stuffed toys the dog liked to play with, the one with the little squeaker in it that drove the dog crazy until she masterfully removed the annoying sound maker with her teeth.
Familiar with the layout of the supermarket, I knew that the next aisle wasn’t the one with the pet toys. Not curious enough, I dismissed the sound, put the ice cream in the cart, and continued with my shopping.
There was no ignoring the noise now; it was directly behind me, loud and persistent. Curiosity won, so I turned around.
I smiled at the unexpected sight: two joyful toddlers, “driving” a red vehicle-shaped shopping cart; each kid had their own steering wheel and their very own horn. As they exuberantly pressed on the yellow horns, a squeak emerged. The grins on the kids’ faces were wide, their bodies wriggled in the seats with excitement.
A harried Mom was pushing the cart. The cart was full of groceries, which told me the Mom had been listening to that noise for her entire trip at the supermarket. I felt her pain.
The toddlers continued to happily press the horns, having discovered that the faster they pushed the horns the louder the sound, especially when they pushed the horns at the same time. They were greatly pleased when I moved my cart over so their cart could pass.
The Mom smiled back at me as she quickly passed by and headed to the checkout line. The squeaks continued while the groceries were placed on the belt, bagged, loaded back into the cart and then slowly faded as the Mom pushed the full cart out of the store to her car.
I saw God in the Mom on that trip to the supermarket. Her patience was remarkable. Yet, she knew the noise the kids were making was overshadowed by the sheer joy of the children having harmless fun with such a simple thing, a horn. And the Mom was able to get her shopping done.
Like the children, may we find joy in the simple things. And then remember to thank God for those who have patience with us when we do!
© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011