Tales from Target

Last week, the littlest guys and I stopped in Target to get a few things. There was a deal on frozen chicken that I couldn't pass up, and a little gander at the clothes never hurt anybody. Since I rarely get to go clothes shopping (although I did yesterday, which is totally ruining my credibility), my best hope is to find myself at a superstore that combines clothing with necessities such as frozen chicken and chocolate.

At the point where I could feel the boys teetering on the brink of impatience and the frozen chicken thawing in my buggy, I decided to count myself blessed to have survived to that point and head for the checkout line. After paying, we headed for the car. Luke, like most three-year-olds, is a wandering walker. He heads in the general direction I’m going, but weaves back and forth, checking out anything and everything as we pass by. Being the attentive and vigilant mom that I am, I occasionally toss back “Luke, c’mon. I’m leaving you.” I might even turn my head every once in a while to be sure he’s still back there and hasn’t been sucked into picking up and admiring some random piece of trash on the floor, declaring it to be his newest treasure and insisting on taking it home.

I am now going to reveal my complete neglect of my child, but that’s not the point of the story, so please just ignore that part. I walked out the automatic doors ahead of my lollygagging Luke, who also happens to be quite short. He is three and also my husband’s son, which ensures that he must be a shrimp. He made it through the first set of doors, but as I looked back after passing through the second set of doors, I saw him stop right in the doorway. For some reason, the genius who invented automatic sliding doors didn’t think it necessary for said doors to detect people who are shrimpy. Evidently they’re expendable, and Luke was about to be expended, if you know what I mean. In my desire to avoid seeing my sweet Luke crushed by the door, I yelled, “Luke, watch out!” Naturally, he stepped back into the store rather than out the door.

At this point, I was relieved that Luke was still a three-dimensional object, but I realized that this is the one store I know of where you cannot get back in the automatic exit doors or the manual exit doors once you go out. They are serious about some traffic flow and don’t seem to tolerate people who forget something, change their mind, or let their children get stuck inside the store. To get back in, you have to walk around to the entrance door, but, knowing Luke as I do, I figure he’ll dart out the exit door with the next exiting customer before I can get back around to him. The problem is, there are apparently no customers currently feeling the need to exit.

The whole thing was just funny to me as I realized that if I were a first-time parent, I might be a tad bit concerned that my kid is stuck behind a door and that he’s starting to get a little panicked about the whole thing. But, being the seasoned mother that I am (which means I’ve been through enough drama to know it’s all gonna be okay), I just told him to chill and wondered exactly how long it was going to take for a taller person to come our way. About the time Luke has backed up and walked toward the door 15 times, which is pointless because he’s still short and door is still prejudiced against short people, a man walks toward the entrance, glances at me, and just smiles. It was that knowing sort of smile that could only come from a fellow parent. He headed in to rescue Luke and send us on our merry little way. After all, we did have important business to attend to. Thawed chicken would not be good.

All of these unnecessary details now bring me to my point. I know you’re relieved. As I thought back on the silly little story, I wondered how many times our lollygagging (which is shockingly a real word as there is no red squiggly line beneath it) and hesitation have caused us to be separated from our fellowship with Christ as we seek to follow Him. We’re usually headed in the right general direction, and we can see Him up ahead, leading us in the way we should go. But we become distracted along the way, many times by garbage that just looks fun to play with. We don’t follow with determination, but with a complete lack of urgency and passion. Before we know it, we’re caught in a closing door and it’s decision time. A moment of hesitation can send us backwards, and the door is closed. We find ourselves looking out at our Savior but unable to get to where He is. Eventually, help arrives or we decide to seek after Him again, but the hesitation has cost us those moments of fellowship, obedience, and blessing that we can never get back.

I’m forever asking God to speak to me, give me direction, use me, show me His will. I’m following after Him. And then, suddenly, the moment will come when He speaks, but I hesitate. My lack of faith or my pride or my laziness or my fear get in the way, and the door is shut. I’ve missed my chance at obedience, which means I’ve missed the blessing of walking with Him and seeing Him work. It happened last week. I’ll never know what could have happened, because I chickened out. I hesitated, and the moment was lost to me. I’m still seeking Him and following and loving, but I can never get that moment back. Let’s not hesitate next time.

Let’s stay hot on His trail, ready to walk through that door when it’s open instead of finding ourselves behind the glass, looking out to what we could have had. Also, let’s all (and by all, I mean me) keep a closer eye on our kids so they don’t get stuck in Target. Or we could start an ugly letter-writing campaign demanding that short people get door recognition, too.


  1. This is great Amy. You really are a good storyteller. Hot on His trail-I like that.

  2. This reminds me of the time you and your mom took Ann to Wal-Mart and she just sat down on the sidewalk! :-)

  3. LOL!!! I can so see Lukey walking back and forth trying to get the doors to open! What a great story and analogy! Thank you for the inspiration today!



Post a Comment

Popular Posts