I have a love-hate relationship with our local Target’s self-serve lines. They lure me with the no waiting temptation and then they frustrate me when they don’t register I’ve bagged something and the voice comes on and says:
Please wait for assistance
Everything stops. Sometimes the clerk is near and sometimes she’s busy with another customer. The frustration mounts that this stupid thing can’t register that I moved a bag and aggravation at myself that I fell for the lure of speed – again.
Today the clerk was busy elsewhere and the voice kept repeating ‘please wait for assistance’,‘please wait for assistance’,‘please wait for assistance’. The whole point of this line is that I don’t need help. I CAN DO IT MYSELF!
It’s a lie I’ve fallen for most of my life. I don’t need help carrying this box, I carried two babies for nine months, thank you. I had back labor that meds couldn’t touch, I think I can handle a surgical biopsy by myself. Just drop me off and pick me up later.
It’s not that we can’t do something on our own. We coordinate school, church and work schedules for our families like we invented the best organizational app out there. Waze….ha! We learned this part of the state carting kids to soccer and volleyball games when phones still had cords!
We’ve mastered avoiding fast-food dinner on game nights. Our sinks are dish free before we go to bed and speaking of beds, they’ll be made in the morning. Well, mine will and the kids….you have to have a little give to survive.
When the kids are grown and out of the house, I find other schedules and tasks to control. Did I say control? I meant to lead. On my own. I’ve got this.
Yes, we can do this ourselves.
There’s that voice again: Please wait for assistance
Suddenly, it was like I was in the Bruce Almighty movie. You know the part where he asks God for a sign. God sends him physical signs, blinking lights even, while Bruce continues to yell and demand from God while ignoring what’s in front of him.
Accepting assistance doesn’t mean we can’t do something. It means we’re willing to humble ourselves, to consider another person.
My son taught me that lesson when we were new in this recovery ministry. I thought the men needed to see a strong woman who could manage things on her own. What they needed was to be of help to someone. To have their kindness accepted. To be seen as more than someone broken by addiction.
Truth is, we were made to need each other. Interdependent, not independent.
Control is an illusion, a lie. It can lead to pride and arrogance. It can isolate us from finding community.
Doing it on your own is exhausting. And that may be what’s saving me.
i’m drawn to the allure of thinking I don’t need assistance. It seems so American and “I am woman hear me roar“. But it’s tiring.
I need my cousin on the other end of the email reminding me to breathe through my grief and frustrations. I need my husband to sit quietly while tears trickle down my face when a song takes me by surprise. I need men in a recovery program calling me Mom and offering help.
I need that voice coming through the register at Target reminding me to please wait for assistance.
I need to step back and let others help carry the sorrow and dance with me in the joy.
“I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 the Voice