We get out of our cars. Lock the doors. Walk to the entrance of the store. Pick up a shopping cart and away we go. Shopping up and down the aisles. Have you ever wondered about the shopping cart itself? Or is it too commonplace and ordinary to even think about? Who invented the first shopping cart?
The shopping cart hasn’t been around forever. In fact, on June 4, 2007, it celebrated its 70th anniversary.
Sylvan Goldman, the owner of the Piggly-Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA was deep in thought one night – “How can our customers move more products around the store?” As he stared at a folding chair in his office he had a brain wave. Put a basket on the seat and put wheels on the four legs and ….. well, why not put another basket on top?? And the idea just took off in his head. The design seemed so obvious to him.
Goldman and his mechanic Fred Young began tinkering and before long the first shopping cart emerged. Like many new things, it got off to a bumpy start. Male shoppers thought they were too girly to use. Some women thought they were unfashionable and others thought they were too much like baby carriages. Older people rejected them because it made them look prematurely frail. They didn’t want to be seen leaning on or pushing around carts as if they need props and supports.
Entrepreneurial Goldman hired cool male and female models to walk around the Piggly-Wiggly stores pushing the shopping carts as if they were genuine shoppers. Eventually the idea caught on and now, 70 years later we love our shopping carts.
Murray Laidlaw has actually come up with an updated design for the shopping cart – one that uses the satellite global positioning system. The GPS unit will be mounted on the handle of grocery carts and shoppers will push their carts around based on the directions that appear on the screen, guiding them to the exact location of the product they want to purchase.
If Laidlaw’s idea catches on, the electronic unit will even suggest recipes for the products they are considering, alert customers to in-store offers, and work out the quickest route around the store before arriving at the check out. If shopping carts actually become ‘smart carts’ we’ll have no excuse for arriving at the checkout without the essential grocery items in our cart.
Have you ever thought of life as a huge super store and you are going up and down the aisles of life pushing your little cart? The teen aisle; the 20’s aisle; and all the way over to the other side of the store – the retired and seniors’ aisle – if you make it that far.
Along the way, you stop and consider certain things – reach up; take down a box; read the ingredients and then make a choice to either put it in your cart or set it back on the shelf. Someone else whizzes by you, picking up this and that in life. By and by, your cart gets heavy and loaded. You’ve made a lot of choices along the way.
Eventually you arrive at the checkout. The shopping is over; its time to leave the store. But first you must go through the check-out. It’s your turn to die. What you have in your cart simply reflects the choices you’ve made in life. And what you don’t have in the cart, again reflects the choices you’ve made along the way. Some things ended up in your cart and other things you decided to leave on the shelf.
Long before Murray Laidlaw invented the GPS guided shopping cart for groceries, God’s GPS for life’s cart has instructed many. The Bible gives guidance to all those who desire it. The Bible gives recommendations and alerts. It also gives us recipes – including the recipe for disaster.
Are you wondering how you can avoid a disaster at the checkout of life? What is the Bible’s recipe for salvation, forgiveness, peace and security? The essential ingredient is: Christ.
You will arrive at the checkout of life with many things – but will you arrive with Christ in your cart? You may end up with a nice home in your cart; a great family; a hefty bank account; some fame and success but what about Jesus Christ? Where is He in relation to you? The recipe for disaster is to leave Christ on the shelf and never put Him in your cart as you walk up and down the aisles of life.
You will arrive at the checkout far sooner than you expect. You might have nice things in your cart. You may have picked up many things along the way – but what will make the difference between Heaven and Hell at the checkout is – whether or not you have Christ in your cart or should we say ‘heart’.
“He that hath the Son hath life and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12 You either have the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ in your life or you don’t. If He’s still on the shelf, you do not have eternal life. But if you have a moment when you took Him off the shelf and accepted Him personally as your’s, then you do have eternal life. You either have Him or you don’t.
Where is Christ in your life? On the shelf or in your cart?