The Atlanta Gift Show

The Atlanta Gift Show

Have you ever had one of those moments that could have been an I Love Lucy episode? If I’m honest, it happens to me more often than not.  I don’t go looking for things to happen, they just do.

Yesterday, I was at the Atlanta Gift Show in downtown Atlanta.  It is the biggest gift show in the world for retailers.  I was there to pick up a few things for the various speaking engagements I have coming up, but I also took some time to wander through the booths to see the newest trends.  When I saw several booths that advertised they were members of the Fair Trade Federation, I was intrigued.  Members of the Fair Trade Federation sell products that are manufactured for fair wages in impoverished countries.  They do this to help bring about sustainable change in those parts of the world while offering quality products to their customers.

I met the sweetest couple who started their organization, Gifts With a Cause, to bring hope into the forgotten parts of the world.  We shared contacts, stories, and business cards.  I walked away knowing God had orchestrated that encounter.  I was smiling and feeling pretty good about myself.  And that’s when it happened….

The left side of my backside suddenly felt wet and cold (yes, I know, odd).  Then the sensation traveled down my left leg.  I was holding my water bottle in my hand, so I knew it hadn’t leaked.  I then looked around on the floor to see if someone had spilled something. The floor was dry.  There I stood in the middle of the Mart with a wet rear and left leg.

I immediately looked for a wall I could back up against so I could assess the damage.  It was there I discovered my new bottle of hand sanitizer, which was attached to my bag, had lost the cap and the entire contents of the bottle had emptied down my backside and left leg.  I ran my hand back there, trying to determine how bad it was, and discovered a thick, cold, wet coating.  I had nothing to clean it up with, so I tried to wipe up what I could with my hand.  It was bad, really, really bad. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer was making my backside not only wet, but extremely cold.

Just before having a total panic attack, because I knew I not only had to walk across the whole second floor of the Mart to get out the door but then four blocks to my car, I saw the shopping bag Glory Haus gave me when I stopped in their showroom.  Thank you, Jesus.  I was able to strap the bag over my head and shoulder causing it to fall on my back left hip, thus covering the wet area.  I quickly made my way out the door and to my car (which was a cold journey to say the least) before sitting down in relief.

Once I sat down, I burst out laughing.  If anyone saw me, I’m certain they thought I was nuts. I couldn’t help it.  I knew God was chuckling with me. When I finally caught my breath, I told Him,

Lord, you have a way of keeping me humble.”

Romans 12:3 immediately came to mind,

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

I had just made walked away from Gifts With a Cause feeling pretty proud of myself. Has that ever happened to you? You do something for the Kingdom or people praise you for what you’re doing. It would be easy to start to think more highly of yourself than you should.  Fortunately, God doesn’t even give me opportunity for those seeds to take root before I go and do some Amelia Bedelia act, dispelling all thoughts of grandeur.

It is important for us to have a healthy assessment of who we are and Whose we are.  We are children of the Most High God, and we should carry ourselves as such [John 1:12]. We were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God [Psalm 139:14, Genesis 1:26] We also should treat others with love and respect, recognizing they are also precious to God.  We should honor and serve them just as Jesus did [Luke 6:31]. He reminds us in Mark 10:45,

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”