The Shopping Cart from Hell


woman_pushing_shopping_cartIt began innocently enough. I walked into the store and grabbed the first available shopping cart. I checked it out a bit to see if it rolled nicely and having not received any red flags, I took off. Well, let me back track momentarily and invite you more fully into the moment.

Grocery shopping is a part of my life that I have a love/hate relationship with. It can feel like a piece of heaven or an experience from the pits of hell.

At times, I enter the store and they’ve got Norah Jones playing. When that happens, I always muse at how smart the owners are. Who could refuse such a beautiful musical invitation to experience the moment? I inevitably slow down and shop longer when Norah is pouring out her heart over the airwaves.  I mellow out, breathe, and linger to experience the wonder of choice, creativity, color, smell, and touch. I dream of savoring that spinach dip or the chocolate cake or the chicken enchiladas….

And then on other days, I am on mission. I plan out my time strategy. I will shop when there are not too many people in the store. I will begin on Aisle C and proceed to Aisle G and blaze out of the store through Aisle H. It’s the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. With laser focus, I enter the store to “get” something. With my Superwoman cape in place, I have a silent inner goal: I will enter this store, find my purchases, and be back in the car in less than ten minutes! Watch out, fellow shoppers!

Yesterday was one of the ‘divide and conquer’ days. It had been a particularly tiring day, yet I knew that I must buy a few things at the store. “Not a big problem”, I thought.  “I’ll just run in and out and be done in less than ten.”  And as I said, I snagged a good cart and set out to put another notch in my Superwoman belt.

Just as I got a little too far away to conveniently change carts, it began. My seemingly good cart that, mind you, I took time to ‘test’, began to pull to the side. I found myself having to maneuver my body, twisting sideways, waging war with my shopping cart. The cart resisted me steadfastly.

I planted my feet with each step, challenging this cart to slow me down, yet the faster I tried to move, the more this cart withstood me.  I was not to be beaten. I have a bit of a competitive streak, loving a good win in anything from Rook to Balderdash to football to shopping cart war. The only problem with using this outlook in grocery shopping is that a shopping cart cannot be easily influenced by my strategic planning.

I found myself leaning slightly forward over the cart, using my arms to influence the direction of the cart. I tugged and pulled and the cart pulled harder. I yanked and the cart accosted me. With too many items in my cart to begin over, I pushed forward toward the mark of the high calling of Superwoman.

Eventually arriving at the checkout, having not taken too much longer than ten minutes, I noticed that my heart was, well, not very peaceful. I was frustrated over having to fight that cart throughout the entire store. And I thought about how we often resist God’s Spirit, pulling the other way, our way, following our bent, our own strategies, endeavoring to divide and conquer when God is calling us to surrender our will to His.

I also thought of how God leads us, how He gently calls us to follow, lay down our agendas, and stay in step with Him.

I fear that I am too often like that stubborn wayward shopping cart and as a result, my path is difficult and bumpy, lacking flow and peace.

What about you?

Will you pause and ask Father if you are resisting His Spirit? Are you pursuing your own agenda and not His? Are you seeking your own way?

Will you commit to doing your life differently?

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us from our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

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Categories : Christian Living


  1. Great story! I totally understand the shopping cart war and the resistance toward the move of God’s Spirit. Thank you for sharing. I love you.

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