Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A New Hobby

          Maybe it is a new senior hobby.  Lately, because of physical problems, I have often sat in our car while my wife has done our grocery shopping.  And I have learned to enjoy watching people while I am sitting there.  Actually, believe it or not, it is really often fun.  People are interesting and often people watching can be fascinating.
          Recently we were shopping during the late morning.  It must have been senior shopping time because the average age of shoppers appeared to be about 75.  I was envious of some who moved so quickly without any apparent pain or difficulty.  Good for them!  But there were many more who were using canes and walkers and who struggled to get to the store.  Most of them were alone and doing what they had to do to survive.  There should be a way for folks like this to get some help with these necessities.
          I watched a large Cadillac arrive and it appeared that it had no driver.  Had the driverless cars reached our area?  No, not yet.  Out struggled a very short woman driver.  With her cane she maneuvered to the back door where she slowly unloaded her walker and then shuffled to the store to do her shopping.  I couldn't help question how many of these folks could still drive safely.  But then, what are they to do if they have nobody to help them shop for needed groceries.
          Later I sadly watched as another elderly lady came out with her shopping cart and proceeded to one of the parking aisles.  Then I saw her return and go to another aisle.  Soon it was apparent that she couldn't remember where she had parked.  I finally lost sight of her several parking aisles later.  I assumed that she either finally found her car or that she is still wondering around the large lot.  It reminded me of my wife's uncle who once drove downtown and parked in Sunbury.  When he was done shopping he walked home, only to discover the next morning that he didn't know where his car was.  I guess the older I get, the less funny that story becomes.  Most of us may reach that stage of life sooner than we expect.
         A second time I was there I noticed some things about drivers.  Some drove so slowly through the lot, holding up other drivers, while others sped through at unsafe speeds.  It is a wonder that there aren't more accidents or injured pedestrians in parking lots.  Of course, seeing how folks move their shopping carts in the stores I shouldn't have been surprised,  Despite that one television advertisement, I don't think too many folks really enjoy being hit in the back by a shopping cart.
         One more observation about drivers.  At Stauffers in Rohrerstown there is a big area in front of the store adjoining the parking lot which has huge painted yellow stripes.  It also has large STOP signs painted on both sides of this area.  It is to give the right of way to shoppers and to protect the shoppers heading back to their cars.  But my observation is that more drivers disregard the STOP sign.  In fact I observed 17 of 20 drivers not even slowing down at all as they drove through this area.  Fortunately there were no close calls, but it is dangerous and somewhat frightening when so many drivers ignore the regulations.
          But as I observed all of this action I began to wonder how many of these shoppers knew the Lord.  If you could judge from their facial expressions you might say very few.  Few had smiles and few seemed to enjoy this event.  I couldn't help but think of Steve Green's song, "People Need the Lord", and they do.  It led me to begin to pray for these folks even though I didn't know who they were or what their spiritual condition really was.  But the Lord knows each.
         So maybe it isn't so bad of a "hobby" - watching and praying for those who pass by,for people need the Lord.

Everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes. 
Empty people filled with care, Headed who knows where? 
On they go through private pain, Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries, Only Jesus hears.  
People need the Lord, people need the Lord. 
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord. 
When will we realize, people need the Lord?  

We are called to take His light 
To a world where wrong seems right. 
What could be too great a cost For sharing Life with one who's lost?  
Through His love our hearts can feel All the grief they bear. 
They must hear the Words of Life Only we can share.  
People need the Lord, people need the Lord 
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door. 
People need the Lord, people need the Lord. 
When will we realize that we must give our lives, 
For people need the Lord.  People need the Lord.

P.S. - After writing this blog, I had another interesting experience watching people enter and leave another local grocery store as I sat in our car in the first row of the parking lot.  Sadly, I saw an elderly lady shuffling to her car with her walker which had two cloth shopping bags attached to it.  She finally reached her car, slowly got in and drove away.  I wonder how often she must make this difficult trip.
         Then I saw a middle age, rather "chunky" woman, dressed in very short shorts ... in January ... not a pretty picture.  And she was followed by another woman, probably in her late 70's, wearing a bright white coat and with ... bright orange hair.  Not sure if it was funny or gross.  Finally three young people - late teens or early 20's - appeared.  Decades ago I would have said they were hippies but now I would say they looked like they had just come from the hills of West Virginia.  They were in and out of the store in about five minutes and their only purchased item was ... a large bundle of ... toilet paper.  I had to laugh.  Surprisingly, it seemed like the majority of shoppers during that time purchased toilet paper.  Don't know if they had a sale or why there was a sudden need for toilet paper.
          As I said before, watching people can be an interesting and entertaining act.  You should try it sometime.  It can also be very relaxing and is inexpensive.

1 comment:

Nell Ruch said...

Hey, Barry, wouldn't it be funny if you read someone else's blog about a man sitting for hours in his car, studying the interesting assortment of people going into the store and coming out, stopwatch in hand?

People watching IS a cheap form of entertainment! More of the stores now are providing a shopping service for those with particular limitations.

Blessed Lord's day to Dianne and you.

Love, Nell Ruch, Hatfield, PA

P.S. For lunch tomorrow some of us are gathering to eat Philly Cheesesteaks together, introducing them to our friends from Korea and Myanmar (formerly Burma0), Fly, Eagles Fly!