Saturday, September 24, 2011

God is like Excel

Thought of the last two months: God is like Microsoft Excel in that I thought I knew all about Excel in high school and college, but I've been learning that there's SO MUCH more to it. I'm continuously humbled by what little I know about Excel's capabilities and just how powerful it is.

Which segways into something AWESOME that happened to me tonight.

While cleaning up my room, I found a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card from my birthday. Since I've been learning so much about Excel at work, I wanted to get a copy of Excel for Dummies, so I drove to Barnes and Noble. I went to my local Barnes and Noble on Peachtree Rd, picked up the book, and got all the way to check out to find that my debit card wasn't in my wallet. NOOO. It could've been in my other bag, it could be in the car, or it could be left at the Peruvian restaurant I was just at. After apologizing to the cashier, I ran back to the car and found my debit card in the cupholder - hallelujah! I got back in line with three people in front of me. The first was this really down to earth girl with tousled brown hair and a huge smile, the second was her friend who had a grey beard and a baseball cap on. The man in front of me was a really tall balding business man.

As the girl was checking out, she pulled out a 40% coupon from her iPhone. The cashier exclaimed, "Wow, what a great deal! And you can use it over and over - it is a public coupon!" She let her friend use the coupon too, and the man behind her was saying, "You and I should be friends. What's your name?" With a huge smile, she said, "Patricia! It's nice to meet you." She proceeded to graciously wait for the third guy to check out, and let him use the coupon too. The whole time she was so friendly and loving toward this stranger. At the end, he said, "I really need to make this up to you! Thank you so much Patricia!" She replied, "Oh no, not at all! You can just return the favor and pay it forward," and she left. He turns around to me and asks, "Are you a Barnes and Noble Member? If not, you are tonight!" and swipes his card before the lady rings up my transaction to get the 10% discount. The cashier looks to me and says, "What divine timing! If you didn't have your card, you wouldn't have gotten this blessing!"

She was so right. If I hadn't found that gift card while cleaning my room, then I wouldn't have gone to Barnes and Noble tonight. If I hadn't gone to the Peruvian restaurant and left my debit card in the car, then I wouldn't have been in line behind those three individuals. Divine timing indeed.

I really admire Patricia. I'm not sure if she's a Christian or not, but she was so kind and loving to strangers that we were all immediately drawn to her. I want to be like her, a magnet that draws people to Christ. And look at the impact that she had! Her little action of sharing her coupon caused a chain reaction, a butterfly effect. Imagine what God can do through us!

I went to Barnes and Noble tonight so that I can learn more about Excel, but tonight, I also got to experience God's grace. Thank you God for being the master systems engineer that so intricately weaves our lives together.