Sunday, August 02, 2009

Prayer – In one billion, three hundred forty nine million, six hundred seventy eight thousand, four hundred and eighty-twelve lessons.

Lesson 4

I decided it was fun to watch people’s reactions when I asked them to tell me which purchase would be of greatest benefit to the store, and why. So, a few days ago, I stopped to pick up something for a headache. I asked the clerk if it would be better for the store if I bought the normal bottle of generic acetaminophen that cost $3.79 or the large bottle with twice as many pills for $5.49. He suggested the small bottle, because clearly the store made more profit per pill. I thanked him, smiled, and then bought the other, larger bottle. I decided not to be angry at him, because he was just answering my question honestly, and I was able to make the better purchase by doing the opposite.

Later, I decided I wanted a candy bar (The other well-known cure for a headache). I stopped at a store near my office and asked the clerk which candy bar she would rather me buy. Without a second’s hesitation she said “Baby Ruth.” I asked, “Why?” “Because I like them,” was her logical reply. I decided not to clarify that I wanted to know what would profit the store best. I was afraid she would suggest gummi something. So I bought a Baby Ruth…..but I didn’t completely trust her. Just to be safe, I bought a Snickers, too. On my way back to my office, I ate the Baby Ruth and as it turns out, I liked it. It had enough peanuts I was able to justify it as health food.

I had one clerk this week that made a real effort to find out what I liked and what I wanted before he would answer my question as to which product he wanted me to buy. He asked if I liked chicken. He asked if I liked beef. He asked if I preferred spicy foods. He finally suggested the Big Mac. I would be willing to ask that clerk to sell me whatever he wanted me to buy, again. He didn’t just pull his personal favorite from thin air and expect me to like it. He found out what I liked, what I needed, what I wanted, and then told me that’s the one he wanted me to buy.

Then I realized that the last clerk was the smartest. Of all three places, when I asked them what I could buy that would benefit the reputation of the store the most, he got it right. He realized that the one that would cause me to trust that the store operated in my best interest was the one that would increase its own reputation. He gave the most insightful, best answer of the three.

I wonder, when I pray "make your name honored, revered, set apart as better than all others," is God as smart as that McDonald's guy?

No comments: