Sometimes things are better than they seem. For instance, when I arrived at the checkout at my neighborhood Fresh Market recently, I was a little disappointed that there was no offering of samples to taste.

“What? I missed the samples?” I asked the two women at the register. “You always have a sample of something at check-out. I count on it,” I added. I realized a while ago it’s the company’s way of providing a memorable, pleasant shopping experience to ensure my return.

“You have samples all over the store,” the seasoned clerk explained.

“Not today. I had the orange juice and lemonade,” I told her. “But there was nothing else out.”

Usually, around the store, tables are set up with chips and dip to sample, bites of cake or something from the deli counter. But not this day.

“If you want something at one of the counters, just ask,” the clerk said.

I paid for the bags of cashews I made the special trip for, then circled back for the full shopping experience. At the snack bin I sampled a handful of Craisin-pistachio trail mix, a few chocolate-covered banana chips, some three-chocolate pecan mix, and blueberry yogurt covered pretzels.

At the cheese counter I considered requesting a sample of blueberry cheese or cranberry cheese. (Growing up, gub’ment cheese had made the best grilled cheese sandwiches. But my tastes have evolved.) I looked over at the deli counter, then the bakery behind me, and was delighted just thinking about all that was available to sample just for the asking.

I sampled apple pie and blueberry coffee, and left the store with my appetites sufficiently satisfied. I thought I had missed the usual sample at the check-out counter, but was instead invited to a mini-feast of sorts.

Later I considered: What if God was showing me something through this experience? What if life has more than a small taste of something sweet at the end? What if it’s okay to sample what life has to offer in all departments?

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