The Joy Thief


If you frequent Aldi’s like we do…
then you should know the connection with the quarter in the picture above.
If you want to use a cart at Aldi’s you have to rent one…
for a quarter… but you get it back… when you return your shopping cart.

I have posted here before that I love Aldi.
I find it as a place to give.
When I give… I receive… joy.

After church this morning the family and I went grocery shopping.
As I went to return the cart I asked…
“Should I give our cart to someone else or keep the quarter for the next trip to Aldi?”
I decided to give it… only no one was walking up to get a cart as I returned mine.
However… the joy thief approached with her cart… and her quarter.

Usually if no one is walking up to get a cart…
I will put my cart inside the first cart and not remove my quarter.
Hoping that it blesses the next person that needs a cart but doesn’t have a quarter.
This gives me great joy.

Today… I left my cart out just a little bit… leaving my quarter inside.
A lady approached the cart bin with her cart and her quarter.
I watched carefully…
She first took the cart I had left… and placed it in the bin… removing the quarter.
THEN… she did the unthinkable… okay… maybe not…
She took her cart and did the same thing!
She took my quarter!

Then again… was it really my quarter?
I mean… I left it for whoever.

But regardless… I was mad.
That wasn’t why I left it.
I left it for the next shopper that needed a cart… not her to take as her husband drove up their Buick to pick her up.

I got in my car… with my wife and kids… I said… “can you believe some people?”
Tanya said… “what do you mean?”
I said that lady stole my quarter!
I didn’t leave it for her!
From the backseat… Anna says…
“Maybe she needed it.”
One point for the 6 year old.

She’s smart like that.
She gets it.
She gets that true joy isn’t dictating how our joy is used.
True joy is putting it out there and allowing God to direct where it goes.
Lesson one.

Lesson two…
is just as simple.
Had I known the joy thief was gonna come and swoop my quarter would I have left it?
Probably not.
Would I have gotten anything out of that?
I surely wouldn’t be writing this blog post had that happened.

As I wrap this up I think…
Was this lady really a joy thief?
My answer…
No… she wasn’t.
The only joy thief is myself.
For when I hold my joy in…
I steal it…
not from myself…
but from the One who gives it to me.

Don’t Procrastinate giving away your joy!
It’s not meant to be hoarded.

When was the last time you gave away your joy?
How did that make you feel?




The Joy Thief

3 thoughts on “The Joy Thief

  1. tony says:

    Provocative point… Ashamedly I still wrestle when a homeless man routinely approaches my car on the way to work. Am I supporting his vices or his sustenance? As you say in this post it is not ours to discriminate when and how to give. We are to clothe, feed, and comfort as if it were Jesus and let Him confront the matters of the heart

  2. Adam, you are you mother’s son. I do the same thing with my quarter at Aldi’s. Afraid I would have had the same thoughts that you had. Thanks for the lesson., Love you and proud of you.

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