The Humbled Hunter and Gatherer
By Connie Cavanaugh –
In Canada the busiest shopping day of the year isn’t the day after Thanksgiving, it’s Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. Boxing Day sales are legendary. Lately Boxing Day has become Boxing Week. Some money hungry businesses now promote Boxing Month!
A few years ago, long before dawn on a clear, cold Boxing Day, my husband, Gerry, headed for Future Shop, an hour’s drive away. He found an empty parking lot when he arrived at 5:30 a.m.
“I’ll be first in line!” he thought. Taking a chance, he sped off in search of a large java to keep him warm while he waited for the doors to open at eight a.m. That was a strategic error, bumping him to third place. He leapt out of his warm car into the Arctic blast of a winter morning and ran to line up outside the locked doors.
Gerry knew there were exactly three TV’s at this store for $499 — a saving of $200. The first three customers to physically lay hands on them could buy them. Gerry sized up the two guys in front of him and asked what they were buying, “the TV” they replied in unison. They looked fit. And young. And fast. Gerry hopped from foot to foot.
Standing in line for over two hours after a large coffee only increased the intensity of his hopping. He read his pocket Bible in an effort to take his mind off his urgent need to “hop.” Hundreds more bargain hunters lined up as the minutes ticked by.
When the doors were flung wide Gerry took off like a shot. He got his hand on the third and last TV without hurting anyone or compromising his Christian witness.
“Belated Merry Christmas!” He hollered when he got home, catching us all by surprise. The kids went nuts. We set up the new TV in the family room.
Every few minutes Gerry gave a low whistle, “We saved $200.” He couldn’t wipe the grin off his face. He watched sports all day.
That evening, we rented two movies, made popcorn, poured drinks and hunkered down. The proud hunter-and-gatherer doused the lights. It was pitch dark. He reached for the remote that rested atop the TV, beside his drink. He miscalculated.
Crash. Tinkle. Fizzle. Zot! Sparks flew out of the back of the TV. I rushed for the lights. Within seconds, there was a gradual dimming of sound and pretty soon, no sound at all. The color went sickly green and fuzzy before the screen went black. Gerry’s grin slid off his face, but not for long.
Ever the optimist, always the preacher, he burst out laughing. “Now I get it!” he chuckled. We were all ears when he quoted the verse from Corinthians he had read mid-hop that morning: “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
The disappointed kids didn’t see the humor or appreciate the lesson as much as we did, but they listened.
“Boxing Day sales come and go,” Gerry reminded us. “And we can get pretty smug about the great deals we find. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get all puffed up with our latest great accomplishment, no matter what it is. But God wants us to remember that whatever’s good in us comes from Him. Everything else dims pretty quickly in comparison with knowing Him.”
We opened up the games cupboard and spent a great evening laughing and enjoying each other.
Oh, and by the way, we were able to get the TV repaired. The cost? You guessed it — $200.