I Don't Know His Name...Only His Choice

" 41 "I don't need praise from people. 42 But I know you—I know that you don't have God's love in you.43 I have come from my Father and speak for him, but you don't accept me. But when another person comes, speaking only for himself, you will accept him.44 You try to get praise from each other, but you do not try to get the praise that comes from the only God. So how can you believe?" ~ John 5:41-44 (NCV)

Scanning the list of items I needed to get yesterday from Trader Joe’s, I grabbed a couple of cartons of eggs and as I turned saw a familiar stance. I still didn’t know his name but I thought of beating him first in saying “Hello.”

Crouched on the floor as he stocked some more dairy items, I tapped his right shoulder.

“Hi! Happy New Year to you!”

A little surprised at first, he finally showed his warm smile and greeted me back with enthusiasm.

When our short exchange of communication ended, I waved and left him still stocking all those items on the bottom shelf.

“Have a nice day!” I hollered. Without mentioning his name.

It all started this way.

I love shopping at Trader Joe’s. Oftentimes, I make my list every week and try to get the items that I just need for our family’s weekly meals. Until one time, I heard…

“Hi Angie! How are you today?” he greeted as I was taking some bananas. He had a smile the whole time.

I looked around me. The other shoppers were a little too far from where I was and where he was glancing.

I smiled back at him. He stopped smiling and the expression was replaced with a kind that seemed to wonder. Wonder why I never said “Hello” back but just a smile.

With the following trip early one morning, I was examining some frozen fishes from the freezer when I heard the familiar voice yelling, “Hi Angie! How are you?”

I looked up to see it was “him” again. I smiled back. Then he got quiet again.

On the third trip, with my cart filled with all the grocery items I needed from my list that day, I happened to spot an empty line for a cash register.

“Hi Angie! Did you get everything you need today?”

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It was “him” ringing the shoppers’ items.

I started laughing softly much to his surprise.

“I’m so sorry.” I started apologizing as I continued to laugh.

“You always say “Hi” to me and I always just smiled at you because I wasn’t sure who you were referring to every time. I’m not “Angie”. My name is “R.”

He joined my laughter with his.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I don’t know why I thought you were Angie. From now on, I won’t say a name. I’ll just say ‘Hello’.”

“That’s okay. You know one thing?”

“The most important thing is that you never fail to say “Hi” not only to me but to anyone who enter the doors. Thank you.” I uttered as he handed me the long receipt of what I just paid for.

I don’t know his name even today as I type this story. But I know the choice he makes when it comes to shoppers at that Trader Joe’s. He chooses to always give them a warm smile as he greets each and every one and he always asks if we need anything else.

As we closed the door to 2011 and welcome the very first day of another year, it is the choices we have to make each day in 2012 that will determine the outcome by the end of this year. One can be wise in making the right choices and be infants for those evil things. That is...if he or she chooses to...What's on your list for 2012?
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