I spent the first thirty of my working years trying hard not to waste time, resources or money because every penny mattered. I still fervently believe in this old axiom but my devotion to this cause is being tested every day in the work I do at a large retail grocery store. I spend eight hours a day giving refunds and throwing food away. At the end of my shift, I haul away twenty pounds or more of produce, meat, bread and assorted commodities to the dumpster in the back. It breaks my heart, especially because I know so many kids in foster care who are there because their parents couldn’t feed them properly.
I wish, with all my heart, that I could stop the waste and end the want but I understand the reason this business practice is necessary. All it takes for the company to be held liable is for someone to get sick from a product that we gave away and the costs associated with such a lawsuit are far too prohibitive to take that chance. That’s not the company’s fault, that’s on us as consumers. During the week before Thanksgiving, we tossed out several turkeys because they had left the store and we had no way of knowing what happened to them while they were gone. I gave the customers their refund and promptly dumped the turkeys in the trash. Several people wanted refunds just because they had bought one that wasn’t big enough. Only one person elected to keep her purchase and rejected my refund offer when I explained the situation fully. They were all shocked to hear my explanation but only one of them made a choice to waste not, want not.
Given that we are just days away from Christmas and the true reason for the season, I sincerely hope we all take a moment to appreciate what the Christmas Spirit is all about. Jesus was born to give up His life for others. His destiny was fulfilled by His death. He made the ultimate sacrifice and His life story is the epitome of one who never wasted a moment of His existence. He gave everything He had so that the rest of us would not want for anything.
The Christmas Spirit is alive and well in the vast majority of people because I see people buy bags of food that are being delivered to the poor. I see families take turns ringing the bells for the Salvation Army red kettle outside, even on the coldest days. I see the huge bin being filled in front of customer service with products for the local food bank. Americans are, by nature, a generous and kind people but we could do so much more if we just took the time to think about our actions in the moment and if we kept this faithful spirit always.
No child in America should ever go hungry. We have more than enough resources to make sure that never happens but if we don’t make a conscious effort to fill that need we are leaving it up to a government bureaucracy to make it happen. I saw how well that works and it was not good. I spent nine years working in foster care and now I know full well how big the problem really is and why we all have to do something about it. Let’s all make a concerted effort to not waste food and to consistently give donations to all our local food banks. If we can’t do that much, then none of us deserves to celebrate Christmas as a day for giving. Please, please do your part to make a difference every day. The Christmas Spirit is the most meaningful when it happens all year long. Let’s celebrate the birth of a miraculous baby by making sure that children everywhere are given the nourishment they need every day. I want children everywhere to firmly believe in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.