Grocery Stores, Jobs & The Church (A Satire on Expectations)

You know what I can’t stand about the grocery store?

Every time you go to the grocery store, they ask you for money.

Just once, wouldn’t you like to walk up and down the aisles, stuff your cart full of frozen pizzas and potato chips (or, if you’re so inclined, vegetables and gluten-free “treats”) and skip the checkout lanes? It is awfully presumptuous of our local supermarkets  to demand money in exchange for their goods and services!

They’re a grocery store. Everything should be free. If people don’t eat, they die. We shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Yet when we walk into the store — every single time — they expect us to hand over our hard earned cash. Come to think of it, all grocery stores are about is money! It’s all they ever talk about. I can’t stand that about grocery stores, and I bet you feel the same way.

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The only thing worse than grocery stores is having a job. All jobs are the same, and it’s frustrating. Once you belong to a company, there are all these expectations.

Every time you turn around, there’s someone else asking you to do stuff. You just end up with a huge task list. They say the company is depending on you. Why can’t the company do the work? It’s not like we’re the company. We should just be able to show up, belong, but not have to do much.

They shouldn’t even expect us to be there so often…multiple times per week, rarely missing.

Not only do they want us to help do the work of the company–even when we’re not there, they still want us to represent the company and do things that will help the company. Shouldn’t we just be able to show up, kick back, relax, and enjoy all the benefits of employment and then clock out and be our true selves? Someone else can run the company. They don’t need us.

Just give us the benefits of our employment, let us show up and enjoy them, and keep being a great company. I don’t understand why that’s so hard to understand.

Just once, wouldn’t you like to go to the grocery store and not have them ask you for money? Just give us our food and leave us alone!

Just once, wouldn’t you like to find a job where they aren’t always asking you to do stuff? Just give us our benefits and leave us alone!

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The only thing that’s worse than the grocery store and having a job is the church. They take the crazy expectations of both and roll it into one. Every time you go they are asking you for money. Every time you go they are asking you to chip in and do stuff. You can’t walk in the doors without being hit up for something!

Why can’t they just give us our food and leave us alone?

Why can’t they just give us our benefits and let us sit back and relax?

Who do they think they are, being so demanding? We’re not the church…someone else can fund it and run it!

There is one thing you gotta love about the church, though.

If you go to the store and fill up your cart full of groceries and head straight to your car, they generally try to have you arrested. That’s called stealing.

If you report to work and twiddle your thumbs and don’t contribute, they generally try and terminate your employment. That’s not belonging, that’s being a bad employee.

But at the church, if you “fill up your cart full of groceries” and never chip in, or if you “twiddle your thumbs and don’t contribute” and never do anything, there is absolutely no consequence. I mean, they may keep asking for money and volunteers, but they don’t ever kick you out. They aren’t rude. They don’t judge you.

They just let you be you, well fed and rested.

Don’t you wish grocery stores and employers were more like the church?

 

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Titus Benton is a student pastor in Texas, where he’s happy to serve a church that understands how to be the church, not just go to one.

3 comments

  1. If Corporations are People, then People should get the same Tax deductions Corporations get if you have a job and contribute to Corporations prospering. It’s all Business.

    Then a worker could write off food, clothing, shelter and transportation as necessary expenses to keep Corporations operating.

    1. Astute Perspective Ray. Corporations are not people – and anything to further that distortion is simply wrong thinking. I propose we get back to the definition of “property rights” as contained in the Bible. If you have to pay in order to own personal property, your a serf. If you have to pay to work, then you are a victim of thug. If you have to pay to own money, or transfer money, you are a victim of simple theft. In 1870 there were no taxes – no property taxes, no inheritance tax, no sales tax, no income tax. We did just fine as a nation and it set up the conditions for the largest prosperity period in the history of man…the Industrial Revolution. America led the world in production and innovation. The top 10 companies of today were born during that period. Why would we conclude now that more taxes, more welfare will solve the problem of low prosperity, low GDP. It’s not the write-off of taxes, it’s the elimination of taxes that really matter.

  2. Good blog Titus.

    The price of salvation is free and priceless.

    My worldly business training says what you’re describing are some key differences in a “cash cycle.” A “cash cycle is defined as the exchange of something valued for something valued – normally cash, or it’s cash equivalent.”

    On one hand, something of tangible value (food) is exchanged for currency, debit currency or credit, convertible to currency. On the other hand, we receive a gift of eternal life (salvation) and it’s free. Allow me to offer a few thoughts on these concepts. From my viewpoint it’s a conflict of perspectives – worldly tangible viewpoint or a spiritual intangible viewpoint.

    First is the “valuation” of the receipt. e.g. food VS salvation. Which is more important depends on the givers perspective.

    The second is the “exchange” – Transaction or Gift. If the first is not an issue, then the method conveyed is also a normal thought process. People live in a world of daily transactions. Life requires transactions. It’s only natural for people to have trouble making a distinction between a transaction (or even a tax) and a gift. This also depends on perspective.

    For those in a worldly tangible viewpoint – where transactions are routine and required for life – any amount of food to the hungry is economically priceless. Just ask the hungry in India or Argentina. For those who seek God’s Abundant Grace and His Will, the free gift of salvation is spiritually priceless. It’s all God’s anyway, so no amount of money is too much – when it furthers God’s Kingdom, or projects God’s will. (There lies the third disconnect….a worldly valuation of spiritual expenditure – or how does the church use the funds given.)

    So, both the first and the second depend on the perspective of the giver. The third is by faith – it is not for the giver to judge God’s spenders. God will handle that judgement amply well.

    Most folks that have trouble giving see their world through a worldly humanistic perspective. This distortion blinds them to God’s will. There are countless worldly perspectives competing for their heart, mind and wallets. So is Christianity is one of them? We only need to take a look at our view point – our perspective – and it all becomes crystal clear.

    To Glorify God,
    Be a Blessing to others,
    Love thy neighbor,
    Help the lost understand Jesus.

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