I have a story I want to tell you. It has to do with Jack In The Box churros and me learning a big ol’ life lesson in the drive thru line.
On Monday nights, I take the kids back to their mom’s. Evan is at lodge by this time so it’s always just me and the kids, until I drop them off… and then I’m alone. For the first time in at least 4 days… most of the time 7 days… I AM ALONE.
I always treat myself to whatever dinner I want. Whatever snack. Whatever whatever that I want. A few weeks ago, I dropped them off and then headed east on the highway. I wasn’t super hungry (shocker) so I wasn’t real sure what I wanted. I spotted a Jack In The Box sign in the distance and immediately knew… I wanted churros and an unsweet tea. They still have foam cups (sorry Mother Earth)… but I love foam cups.
As I sat in line between ordering my churros and paying for my churros, I got this urge to pay for the car behind me. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the young lady whose food I would be buying. Younger-ish, blonde, nice car, Toll Tag, chattin on her cell phone.
I didn’t want to buy her food. I don’t know what I was hoping for. A car full of toddlers with a mom and dad that looked stressed to the max… maybe. A man that looked like he had just gotten off work from his manual labor job and didn’t have anyone at home to cook him dinner… maybe that too.
But this girl… she didn’t need me to buy her food. I could see she already had her debit card out. She obvi drives on the toll road to a fancy job and pays for her fancy car. She didn’t need me to buy her food.
I wanted someone who needed me to buy their food.
It’s gross when I say it out loud. And that’s not even the main part of the story.
I continued this off and on with myself. Deciding to pay, undeciding to pay. And then I got to the window. It was a young girl with a hand written name tag.
I paid for my food. My food. And as she handed me my debit card back… I reluctantly said… “I’d like to pay for the car behind me too.”
This young girl got so excited. She said… “Oh my gosh! This is the first time this has happened to me. I’ve only been working here two weeks and this is so nice. I see you! I see you being nice!”
Like her and I were in cahoots together. The only two that knew this big secret. A secret to which my explanation to her was “I’m just putting a little kindness out into this crazy world.”
As she ran the card she started telling me how she had just graduated high school and gotten this job. How she felt like school hadn’t prepared her for the real world. How so many things were going on in this world and she just wasn’t sure how to react to it all. How she hadn’t believed in God until a few months ago. She lost some friends over digging into her faith but was hopeful because she had gained a whole new group of friends that were supporting her in this new journey. As she turned to hand me my card back she said… “I hope the person behind you is happy!”
And that’s when I realized… it was never about her.
It was never about the girl behind me.
It was about that conversation right there. The one between me and the cashier. The one between me and the young girl who was trying to figure out life and gained a little hope in seeing kindness through a complete stranger.
And it was a lesson for me. Me realizing that I don’t control the nudges, the instincts, the gut feelings… I don’t get to choose when or when not to react… especially based upon what I see in the rear view mirror.
It was never about her. It was never about ME. It was about the cashier in the drive thru window.
I pray for that sweet girl a lot. I’d go visit her more often but I can’t control myself with the offerings of mini tacos, egg rolls, curly fries, foam cups… and of course, churros.
Follow the nudge. Step out in faith to act on that instinct. It’s not about us. We aren’t the recipient. And even as much as we think we know… we don’t know who the recipient is.
This story will be in the cookbook. This is what I’m talking about, y’all. And yes… I’m still writing the book!
2020 hasn’t stolen that dream from me.
I would, of course, encourage you to try Jack In The Box churros but if you aren’t really into that or are staying out of drive thrus at this time… here are some amazing churro recipes I found.
Happy Sunday, friends. Follow the nudges.