Joy and Concrete

A few days ago I was shopping at Lowe’s.  I was picking up some bags of concrete to set some fence posts in our pasture.  But I also needed a few things from the garden center, so I ended up checking out there, on the opposite side of the store from where I picked up the concrete.

While I was waiting in line, a young man who worked there approached me and asked if he could help me load my car.  As a still relatively young man myself, I’m not used to being asked if I needed assistance loading my vehicle, but I happily accepted, thinking how nice it would be to have to lift those heavy bags of concrete one less time each.

As he helped me load my purchases into the back of my Subaru, he told me how much he enjoyed loading bags of concrete.  “I used to work in the lumber department,” he told me, “and I’d get to load concrete for people all the time.  But now they have me here in garden, and I never get to load concrete any more.”  When we were done, he thanked me for letting him load my concrete, and dashed back into the garden center.

The next day, I found myself back at Lowe’s in the garden center, to pick up a couple of other things I discovered I needed.  The same young man was working there.  He recognized me, waving from several aisles over, calling out, “Hey! Concrete man!”  I smiled and waved back.

There was a time when I would have felt inclined to poke fun at someone like that, for getting so excited about such a mundane chore (that every reasonable person knows is no fun to do).  Instead, I find myself in admiration over the ability to find such joy in such a simple thing.  I hope that I can find occasion in my life each day to find such joy in such simplicity.

The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything. — St. Catherine of Genoa