“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders . . .” – Hebrews 12:1
Do you ever think about the fact that everything we do someone is watching? Kind of scary, isn’t it? In case you don’t believe that’s true, think about how often you notice other people and the seemingly insignificant things about them, whether they are rude, pleasant, or simply ignore the wait person in a restaurant, pick up a piece of debris in a parking lot or throw one out, if they have a smile or a frown, neatly dressed or sloppy, appear happy or out of sorts. People are noticing our behaviors the same way we are noticing theirs. But does it matter really?
We do a great deal of our shopping at a nearby Kroger supermarket, and grocery stores are great places to observe human behavior. And at this particular store there is an employee whose name is Rockie. Rockie serves a lot of different functions in the store, but most often works as a checker, and when we shop there we will go out of our way to be checked out by Rockie, even if hers is the longest line, which it normally is. Not only is she efficient at her job, but she has this amazingly infectious personality – a great sense of humor, calls you sweetheart, thanks you for your business and sends you on your way with a warm “God bless you”. But does it really matter? It does to us. Tee will inevitably walk in the house after shopping at Kroger with a huge smile that literally lights up our household, and I always know why. “Rockie checked me out!” she’ll say.
Having grandchildren has made me increasingly conscious that they are observing everything I do and, depending on my particular behavior in the moment, will have either a positive or negative impact on their lives. Like it or not they are witnessing adult behavior, my behavior, and it is up to me how that will impact them. But it is also up to me how I treat Rockie when I’m in Kroger, or a fellow customer in the store, another motorist on the freeway, a colleague, employee, or my neighbor down the street.
Everything we do someone is watching; for each of us is surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who is impacted by what we do – positively or negatively. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders . . .” our opportunity to touch a life, or like Rockie, to light up someone’s household.