Integrity and Blueberries

Dearest Reader,

If you follow my blog, you already know that I believe in affirmations. I say several one-liners each morning as I power up for the day. They habitually reset my mind about who I am and what I can do. 

One of my affirmations includes a word you do not hear often. The word is “mensch,” and I think it sounds cool. Anyway, Webster defines mensch as “a person of integrity and honor.” 

Since that is a characteristic I want to possess, I declare that “I am a mensch” each morning. Like magic, my confession roots itself into my subconscious, reminding me to act with integrity even when I could get away with something. 

Something as simple as free blueberries. 

Please allow me to give you the backstory before I share the lesson. In the past, I have struggled with making wise decisions whenever I am sleepy, hungry, or angry. And if I am more than one at the same time. All I can say is, Lord, please have mercy because it usually is not good. 

This past Sunday, I would be tested. I woke up that morning in a tizzy. Somehow, I managed to hit my snooze alarm more than twice on two separate devices. When I finally shook all the sleep off, I looked at my watch and noticed I was an hour behind schedule. 

Add that to the fact that I am a terrible rusher. It was no longer a question of whether I would be late. It was only a matter of how late

Fortunately, I had packed my pillbox of vitamins and supplements the night before and only needed to reheat the coffee I had last night. Hint: this is why I kept hitting the snooze button. 

Once I dressed, I grabbed both items, stuck them inside my lunch bag, and headed out with a bottle of vitamin water. I was not too late for church, but I was hungry and needed to take my vitamins and supplements by the time service was over. 

The plan was to stop and pick up breakfast and head back home. First, my riding partner and driver needed to fill up her tank. The car’s needle was nearly touching the E. 

She stopped at the first station in sight, turned off the engine, and proceeded to pump. When she finished, we were all set to go and grab some grub. But when she turned the ignition, all we heard was a clicking sound.

After getting over the shock. I started praying (I was already fasting). When I opened my eyes, I saw a red tow truck pull in front of the adjacent store. I yelled out, “Can you give us a jump.” The guy was so kind. He didn’t even go into the store. He hopped back inside his truck and pulled in front of us. In a matter of minutes, the car was running, but the kind man warned us not to turn it off until we could go home or to a place that would check the battery. 

I think my traveling buddy was hungry too, because she drove to the restaurant first. The new plan was to order breakfast and then run to the auto parts place on our way home. 

I choose to use the app to save time while my companion ran inside the restaurant to make hers. I ordered pancakes and sausage. 

Oh no! As soon as I paid, I realized that I had forgotten to add blueberries to my pancakes. Feeling like a dunce, I immediately called inside the restaurant to share my dilemma and ask them to add the price of the blueberries to my bill. They told me they could not. They said I would have to cancel and reorder. I thought so much for saving time as I scrolled down the screen. 

“I don’t see a cancel option,” I told them. The restaurant noise blared through the phone as I waited for another solution. I had already added a tip; I figured they could take it out of that money. 

Finally, the waitress said, “Just pay for the blueberries when you pick up your order.” 

Fifteen minutes later, I went inside to pick up my order only for the manager to explain that they had run out of sausage patties. He told me to ask my traveling companion to choose a different meat and let him know asap. I felt horrible because I had ordered the same meat. Was he going to tell me the same thing?

I rushed outside to give her the upsetting news, and when I returned inside with her behind me, the manager signaled that my meal was ready. It was sitting in a warmer area where places like Door Dash and Uber Eats grab to-go orders. I looked inside the carton at my hot blueberry pancakes, butter, syrup, and two small sausage patties. I supposed they weren’t out after all. 

I closed the lid and looked for someone to pay. The restaurant did not have a register. Instead, the servers walk around with handheld terminals. But everyone was busy. Every table was full of patrons, and no one was available. I felt like a homeless person trying to hail a cab. 

There I stood at the front of a packed restaurant with a steaming bag of breakfast that was 99% paid for and the door only a few steps away. Outside was the running car. And inside the vehicle were the vitamins that I needed to take. 

As I mentioned earlier, I am not usually my best when hungry, sleepy, and growing frustrated. I knew with all certainty, I could have walked out and blamed the restaurant for being too busy to take my money, and no one would have said a thing. I reasoned that the restaurant probably decided to give me the blueberries since I come there often, and if push came to shove, I could pay them on my next visit. Furthermore, the manager and the servers were too busy to stop for two dollars’ worth of blueberries. 

The only issue was the barely noticeable voice that reminded me that I had agreed to pay for the blueberries. I knew God was watching. I knew I needed to make the right decision. 

Biblia.com

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

Suddenly, the waitress who took my order a couple of days before finished with one table and turned to help another when I stepped to her side. ” I need to pay for the blueberries,” I said. (If only I had cash, I would have handed her the exact amount or more.)

“Oh, okay. Give me a moment,” she said. 

I had hoped she’d say, “Girl. It’s too busy. Enjoy those pancakes. You have been waiting for a while. Plus, I see your tip.” But she did not. 

The long way is better than the wrong way. Click To Tweet

That’s when the manager made matters worse by advising my traveling companion that I had the last of the sausage patties. Really? Who does that? She looked plumb pitiful.

“No worries. I’ll share mine with you.” I told her.

Time progressed, and the waitress’ “moment” lasted longer than I’d expected. My pancakes were moments colder, and to top it off, the restaurant ran out of plastic utensils. Without a fork, it would be at least another 45 minutes before I could eat.

By the time I paid for those blueberries, my traveling companion had her order too. She also had some trusty plastic utensils from another restaurant in her glove compartment. Praise God!!! 

When I opened the box, the food was still hot. I was able to take a few satisfying bites and pop my pills. Moreover, I had a clean conscience. 

For $1.60 and a few extra minutes of waiting, I had done the right thing before God and humanity. That is what a mensch does: they do the right thing even when no one is watching. They know: “the long way is better than the wrong way.” 

“Everything that is hidden will be made clear and every secret thing will be made known.” Mark 4:22 (NCV)

May you always do the right thing even when no one is watching,

Leah

If you like this blog, please support me by downloading at least one copy of my 21 Days to Your Best Life Yet ebook for $4.99. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to Rizing Starz Incorporated towards the purchase of the #CandraVan. Thank you in advance. XO.