When McDonalds Makes You Feel Important.
So, this morning I decided to make a breakfast stop. It’s a rarity. I don’t normally want breakfast. I don’t like to eat before 11 o’clock normally. Morning food is too much … I’m trying to wake up. Give me some coffee and some water and kick in the butt. But this morning McDonald’s beckoned … those golden arches calling me heavenward to the land of everything “Mc-” (McGriddles, McChicken, McRib, etc).
I ordered. When I make these runs to the various breakfast establishments along my path to work, I normally order a biscuit for said friend at work who keeps up with attendance and puts up with me. I again followed said procedure for procuring said biscuit. Along with other pastries and breakfast items that I felt inclined to devour this morning. Yes. It was to be a feast of gluttonous proportions. I was excited and scared all at the same time. A feeling of awe is what I felt, really. I was about to eat so much delectable goodness that I may have very well exploded.
But, I forgot my wallet. I discovered this after ordering and pulling up. You know, the typical drive-thru morning ritual.
Did I mention I was running late this morning? I must have forgotten two things – my belt and my wallet. I did remember my iPod, though, to which my auditory sensory organs were very much pleased. I need my belt, because my pants, for the most part, are too small, and I can get by with unbuttoning them and wearing a belt to hold it all together. I have lost weight recently, so this is, at the moment, less tragic that it could be. Like most guys, my wallet holds every thing I need to function. It’s like a miniature survivor package. Without it, I am impotent and lost.
After realizing that I had left said “miniature survivor package” at home, I swung my car around into a parking space and walked up to the drive-thru window. I must admit: my first instinct was just to run away. To speed down the road to work, where I was already late. I, however, found the strength and courage to approach the cashier / manager combo of personnel that were stationed in the window to confess my inadequacy in purchasing power. I explained the issue, with great sorrow, as I felt breakfast feast slipping away and emptiness/embarrassment entering my emotional substance.
The manager smiled at me.
At first I mistook this as a “What a dumb @$$” type smile. But, his face softened, somehow relieving my tension, and he said “Well, Sir, then today it’s on us. Just get back in your car, and I’ll bring the food out to you.”
I had no words. Well, except “thank you”. And those words really didn’t fit there. They were grossly inadequate.
The manager delivered the goods. I thanked him again, and off I went to work, ridiculously late.
I knew that I had received GREAT customer service at that moment. There was something about that moment that spoke louder than that. It was more than customer service. There was something about ME involved in all of that.
I had nothing. I got everything I asked for. I paid nothing. It was all on the house. I didn’t deserve it. I deserved to be hungry.
I realize now that, for some reason, I felt valued as a person, not as a customer in that interchange. And that, that stuck with me.
Some time ago I came to Jesus, with a large request. I was corrupt and selfish and addicted. I made a large request that He walk me through to freedom, that He destroy the selfishness and corruption that had infected me thoroughly. I had nothing to offer Him, nothing but my sin. He took that. And even though I didn’t pay the price, I was offered wholeness and freedom.
Forget that for my entire life I had consciously chosen to be addicted. I had made the choices to feed my selfishness. I had overtly ran from His forgiveness and freedom.
I deserved captivity. I deserved pain. I deserved death. I didn’t get what I deserved.
This morning I was reminded that Jesus doesn’t treat me like a customer. I didn’t buy into the historic faith tradition like buying into a franchise. He treated me with love. And with love He showed me that I am person, a person who has dignity and value. That I was the object.
As you look at this Jesus, I pray that you see a Jesus who loves you, not because you’re a customer buying into His teachings, but because you’re a beautiful and wonderful person that He created to be an object of His affection.
So live today. Really live. Take off your shoes and walk in the grass, even if it’s a small patch outside the office where you work. Give a sandwich to a homeless man, even if he already has one. Take one minute and breathe, don’t think, just breathe, and let the air fill you with awe. Listen to one of you favorite songs from some long time ago in life, and be reminded of who you were and how far you’ve came. Draw a picture on a napkin. Over-tip a waitress. Write a friend a note to let them know how much you love them. Live. Truly live. Because, today, really, it’s all on Jesus.