A lesson learned in the Olives section

Years ago while pastoring my first church I was working in a grocery store to earn enough to feed my family.

I remember one particular day when I was really down.  It had all started out so nobly and excitedly.  Sonja and I had headed off to our first church so proud and honored to be in the ministry and to serve as pastor to our little congregation.

All that had faded away.  There I was—a glorified “bag boy” working for minimal wage.

On this particular day business was slow and the store manager had put me to work changing the prices of the Olive bottles—by one cent.

Back in the day, when there was a price change you had to use fingernail polish remover to clean off the ink of the current price and then stamp the new price on the product.  Needless to say, this was a cumbersome and time consuming process.  And to me, on that particular day, it felt overwhelming.  My life had been reduced to the Olives section in a small town grocery store.  It all seemed so hopeless and meaningless.

However, it was at that moment that I sensed the gentle and loving presence of the Holy Spirit who whispered to me, “If you will take care of whatever is at hand and do it well, I promise you that some day I will trust you with far more.”

I have never forgotten that moment and the challenge and promise God made to me that day.  And…I have found him to be faithful.  Matter of fact, I am amazed.

Perhaps you feel like your life has been reduced to something akin to that Olives section in that small town grocery store.  I promise you–the principle works for anyone.  Take care of what is at hand–no matter what it is or how demeaning it may be.  Do it well and do it faithfully for you are planting seeds for your future and building the character to handle that abundant harvest which God will provide.

  • The ONE THING for today: Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men. (Proverbs 22:29, NKJV)



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