Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nervous on the First Day

First day jitters, for anything, can wire our emotions better than a cup of expresso.

If you are a parent, do you remember the first day you held your first child? Unsure how, or what to do?

Or what about:
First day in Kindergarten and College
First day married
First day in a foreign country..not able to understand a word
First time on waterskis
First time finishing a novel

I think this list could go on for pages and kindle laughable moments, right? Take a moment and jot down your most memorable first time moment in the comment section.

During the Christmas and New Year Holidays I stopped in a McDonalds in some off the beaten-track town. A pudgy, older woman with short curly gray hair stood alone behind the counter and spoke softly. I think she said, "May I help you."

She kept her eyes on the computer and waited for my order. Of course I didn't have the slightest idea what I wanted. "Um, just a minute."

After studying the menu for a moment I chose my usual. "I'll have a hamburger and a hot tea." 

Yes, I was one of those customers who didn't know what they wanted, then had the nerve to order tea. Tea is not on the McDonald's computer. Don't ask me why. The most experienced McDonald's worker is stumped with my request for tea. 

The woman stared at the computer, perplexed. 

Then--the grand moment came. The one I am so excited to share with you.

A teenaged girl, with shoulder length walnut hair and manicured makeup walked over to the older woman. In a gentle voice she asked, "Do you need help?"

The older woman smiled at her. "I don't know where tea is."

The teen showed her how to ring up tea. "Do you need any other help?"

The older woman sparked a smile. She turned to me and said, "This is my first day."

Oh, wow! Did you see all that happened in those two short minutes?

1. An older woman, started a job around Christmas time. Why? Maybe her husband died or they divorced and she had to go to work. Maybe their family had a financial problem. Maybe the youngest child left and she wanted something to do. Why else might she have started a job at Christmas time?

2. A teen saw a need, had compassion and jumped in to teach . . . not do. Why? It was Christmas time. Lines get heavy. Wouldn't it have been easier to blow off the newby, jump in and do the work herself? Or couldn't she have eye-rolled this older person who struggled to work a computer. Or maybe the stereotype of a teen's response shouldn't be in our minds. Maybe teens have a desire and willingness to help others. What do you think about the teen's response.

3. The older woman appreciated the help from a young person. Why? She didn't brush the teen off by furrowing her brows and saying something like, "No thanks, I can figure this out." She explained her problem, followed the teens directions, and turned back to the customer to finish the transaction. The kindness from the teen not only helped the older woman, but also gave her a confidence to face the customer and explain, "It's my first day." What other benefits do you see here?

First day jitters can be difficult. God knows. Jesus did not go to the cross without jitters. He knew the job needed to be done and was prepared to do the job. Yet in the garden, hours before, He prayed asking the Father to remove the cup from Him. His intense prayer caused Him to sweat drops of blood. 

Not only does God understand our first day jitters, He also sends someone to help us. Who has God sent to help you?

I'll start. My teen daughter is my constant go to person for computer glitches. Amazing. She can solve most any of my questions in three seconds!




4 comments:

  1. Mary,
    Thanks for sharing this story. Anything new brings jitters. When I started working at our church I was nervous...our church! New things just bring them out. I'm thankful for so many people in my life who've come along to help me out.

    My heart went right out to that woman at the counter. :)

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  2. Yeah, mine too. Can't imagine starting a job at Christmas time. Talk about the crash course training session.

    I've subbed for our church secretary. I felt very nervous doing typing for the Pastor. After all, it needs to look....um, perfect. That is the moment I can't type faster than 10 wpm and spell any words correctly. Ahhh And then the Pastor is so nice, trying to calm those jitters, and all I can do is stammer my appreciation. Ahhhh!!!

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  3. That is such a sweet and hopeful story. The teenager seems to have a servant's heart. My guess is she is a Christian. At least I hope she is with her good example.

    The lady working during Christmas may be a member of the owner's family trying to lend a hand when they are short-staffed. That would encourage the teenager to be helpful :-) .

    I remember when my roommate was getting married and having jitters about all the planning for the wedding. She realized it was something she had never done before so it made sense she would be having the jitters. When I got married I used a lot of the plans she made only on a much smaller scale. It helped me to not be having the jitters so much because her wedding had been like a practice run from the sidelines.

    My last new experience came in helping in my husband's business. I felt nervous in getting to know the established clients, like, will they like me as well as they have liked the other office staff, etc? God seems to work things out when we let Him lead. He always go through new things with us.

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  4. So true, Janice. Seems hard to remember that at the time, though :) Fortunately He reminds us.

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