ON MY WAY OUT OF THE STORE

Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass.

Today I pray, “Dear God, Last night I went Christmas shopping. At work, my company has an ‘Angel Tree’ where I chose an ornament with the descriptions of a child available to receive gifts this season. My child is an 8-year-old girl who likes books, games, and doll accessories. I had so much fun shopping for a little girl. I have three nephews, all under age four-years. As I was pushing my festive red shopping cart throughout the aisles, I started to sense pine, literally. Where was the scent of pine trees being pumped into this popular big-box? Is this some sort of leading edge marketing test run? And am I the only one in here noticing the entire toy and sporting goods section smells like a Fraser Fir? I was a bit skeptical and thought it to be entirely humorous as I made my way toward the checkout with two games — Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land; a book — Charlotte’s Web; and ridiculously adorable doll accessories — sunglasses, purses, a lapdog in a butterfly-fabric carry case, a kite, bubbles, and a 1970s record (all doll size). I mean, hello! Shopping for little girls is fun.

As I was on my way out of the store, walking to the parking lot, I received a waft of another yummy secret scent: Bacon. What the bulls-eye is this chain one-stop-Christmas-shop doing this year? Bacon on the way in, and pine during the shopping experience? And why did I only notice the bacon on the way out? And where, seriously, where is it coming from? Are they pumping it through hidden space heaters? Why is it flowing directly into my cart pushing path? And why does it smell so good? I’m done with my shopping. You caught me on the wrong end! All in good fun, it made the joy of gifting and giving even more of a delight. I loved the shopping, the choosing, and the humor in the smelling. Thank You for the biggest delights and the smallest ones. Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to reveal this passage:

“In the course of your journey it is most likely that your day-to-day companions or friends may change. Some may fall away as your interest in the Spirit pulls you from the worldly interest which brought or kept you together, but new friends who share your current interests will appear.”
—RAM DASS

This shopping experience is a reflection of what is happening in my life on a personal level. I only arrived to the store in an essence of giving, of charity, of benevolence and generosity. Everything else was stimuli. And it was so over-the-top beyond the reason for my being there that it became humorous. I didn’t arrive to have interactions with anyone or anything other than purchasing a gift for a child. It’s interesting how the stimuli can seem to “get in the way” of our ultimate goals.

Much the same, ‘The Biggest Audience’ calling was set forth with the intention that I was giving the gift of an invitation to life to future generations. And as I live my own life while giving this gift, all kinds of stimuli just… show up! I didn’t ask these stimuli, these disturbances, these interruptions, these humorous occurrences… to be a part of my gift-giving calling. Yet… that’s life! They just… show up! And I can either become an indignant, pious island or laugh a little bit at the seeming craziness of it all. Another death? That’s life. Another heartbreak? Life. Another humiliating struggle? Life. Another abandonment? Life is there, too. Another betrayal? Ah, yes. Life.

It is God that remains the constant. Always, All Ways… God.

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