On an early morning in May, 2006, I bicycled over to the convenience store two blocks away for a newspaper, bottle of lemonade and to put air in the tires of the bicycle. When I stepped inside, the store was dark and quiet.
“Is everything okay? Is anything wrong?” I asked.
The cashier spoke through the darkness. “Everything here is okay but I won’t be able to sell you anything unless you have cash in the exact amount because the register is out. According to the radio, lightening and straight winds struck one of the feeder sites that provide us with electricity. Everything works by electricity. No electricity, no operation!”
On the way to the store, there were no indications of a local storm. Hoping the power would return, I decided to browse around the store. I couldn’t help thinking how one event can have far-reaching effects on countless others. One customer needed milk to feed her hungry children their breakfast. She walked to the convenience store because her car was in the shop being repaired. She did not have another way to get to a store five miles away. A gasoline customer had to drive just about as far on a nearly empty tank. Many other customers entered the store and immediately left. Sales would be down and innocent people would be adversely affected. And with the equipment not working, the cashier might have to stay late to make sure her equipment has not been damaged by the storms. All of this was occurring in just one of several stores in the Shawnee metropolitan area. These events undoubted affected residents and non-residents alike.
Then I wondered about the effects I have on others. What does my assessment of adolescent social offenders have on society? How is the individual affected? How is society affected if these young offenders are allowed to leave too soon? How are associates/colleagues when I am unapproachable, self-involved or impatient? What about the situation if I sue a well-known, national restaurant for $80 million dollars and win because I became sick having eaten a bad hamburger?
On the other hand, who can measure the long arm of kindness or the positive effect of cheerfulness? Today and each day, I have learned I have the power to brighten my world and make my environment proceed smoothly if I choose to do so for the most part. What sort of far-reaching effect can you generate today through kindness, unconditional love, being a peacemaker or being joyful? Try it this very minute! You will have an effect for the glory of God!