In Live more simply/ Purpose

Unintended Consequences

On Monday I went into a store to purchase an appliance for the Orchard: Africa mission house in Mafikeng.  After scrutinizing the features and comparing prices of the various models, I was ready to make my purchase. Scattered around the appliance area were four sales staff.  I walked up to one and asked her if she could help me.  Nope – she did not work with those particular appliances but she would call somebody.  Nobody came.  After about ten minutes I asked her again.  Nope.  She did not know where the person was.  She then turned her back on me and ignored me.  I looked around at the remaining three sales staff.  They all shrugged their shoulders and said they didn’t know either.  All four had no customers, were doing absolutely nothing but were unable (or unwilling) to serve me.

Sometimes we make decisions that have unintended consequences.

The situation in the store is a perfect example of this. At that precise moment I was more affected than the sales staff were.  I needed something and they were unwilling to give it.  I was frustrated but … I had the option of spending my money at another store.  What the sales staff didn’t seem to realize is that the decision they made to be apathetic toward me affects them more than it affects me.

Jobs in Mafikeng are very hard to come by.  The store I was in is clearly not doing well.  It looks as if it will not be long before there are retrenchments or the entire store closes down and everybody loses their jobs.  The decision to not serve me may not have seemed a big deal to them at that moment but it may very well have huge consequences for the four staff who ignored me, for their loved ones if they lose their jobs and for the rest of the staff as well as the owners of the store. One small decision to not serve, compounded day after day, will have consequences, no matter how unintended.

Every one of us makes decisions, both big and small, on a daily basis.  These decisions have consequences that will affect us at the time of the decision but it will also have ripple effects further down the line that can:

  • Hurt or bless us.
  • Hurt our bless our loved ones.
  • Hurt or bless complete strangers.

Daily decisions matter.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. – Proverbs 3:6

You Might Also Like