I work as a Head Cashier at a Home Depot store, so I get to interact with a lot of customers. This also provides me a lot of opportunity to observe these customers and general behavior. Most of you are probably familiar with the PINpad you use to use your credit or debit card for your purchase. After you slide your card, the PINpad asks you a couple questions. Typically, it first asks you if the amount is okay. It asks you to enter your PIN after that if you used a debit card. The question list recently got a little longer because the PINpad now offers an emailed receipt. This slightly changes the regularly anticipated pattern for customers using a credit or debit card for their purchases. Some people get annoyed because they “don’t want any more junk mail,” some go with the flow and simply hit the “yes” or “no” button, and others don’t read the question and therefore mistakenly answer incorrectly. Unfortunately, those who typically think they’re answering another question and are therefore either asked to enter their email because they think they accepted the purchase amount or are asked to swipe their card again because they entered “no,” indicating the amount was not correct when they thought they were rejecting the email get upset. Ironically, they think they played no role in how the PINpad responded. Sometimes they release their frustration at the nearest person corresponded with the register, making our friendly cashiers the scapegoat.

To alleviate such mistakes that add small inconveniences to us or lead us to unnecessary frustration aimed at the wrong causer, we must simply read what’s in front of us. The words give us our choice in direction, and it’s up to us to choose how the questions progress. It’s also up to us to respond to the questions when we don’t like them. Just make sure you don’t assign your frustration at a nearby scapegoat when you might not have been cognizant of your own action and subsequently your own behavior. We must take responsibility for our actions; the directions to lead us are always around us because God’s purpose surrounds us in His creation.  Whether or not we take note of the messages God sends us is up to us.