By Eugene C. Scott
My wife Dee Dee delights in sending me on difficult excursions.
“Eugene, would you please run to King Soopers and pick up a gallon of milk? Oh, and I almost forgot, and some Star Anise, Lavender, and Mace?”
Back in the olden days, say 1995, before cell phones were common, that request meant I would wander up and down the grocery aisles for eternity lost and confused. Since the advent of cell phones, I only wander up and down the aisles lost and confused until Dee Dee answers her cell phone.
“Hello. Eugene! Where are you? I was getting worried. You left hours ago. No, not Sesame Street, Sesame Seed. It’s on aisle 9.”
I don’t know what it is about grocery stores but I never know where anything is or what I’m really looking for.
Lost and confused is also how I’ve felt these last few days while on this “The Year of Living Spiritually” excursion. In my last blog I said I was going to spend 2012 on a daily search for the God-created soul–God sightings–in daily life. Finding Star Anise was easier especially since God picks up his cell phone less than Dee Dee does.
“God, what is it exactly I’m looking for?”
The first day, December 26, I was so busy trying to figure it out that I didn’t even read my Bible or pray. As I fell asleep that night, it dawned on me that was akin to being lost in the mountains and never pulling the compass from my pocket.
On the 27th I began the day by reading and praying. The prophet Haggai warned, “Give careful thought to your ways.” That made sense. Then I stumbled on a blog that defined being spiritual mainly as reading the Bible, praying, and going to church. Hmm. I do those things, especially the church deal since I’m a pastor and people would really wonder if I didn’t show up. But I’m not sure that’s all there is to it. I want to live spiritually not just do spiritual things once in a while.
December 28 was a full day. Busy. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren left to return home to Tulsa. Later that night, Dee Dee and I went to a 50th birthday party. Listening to the conversations and laughter, I began to notice the fine, golden thread of love for the esteemed 50-year-old that drew us all together.
Writer, pastor Eugene H. Peterson says people are God’s creation too and we can see God in them just as we might a sunset or mountain scape. True enough.
Maybe that’s why . . . wait I’m getting ahead of myself.
On December 30 Dee Dee and I stupidly ventured into Walmart. It was a zoo. People everywhere and we got a squeaky cart.
“I can’t stand this. Let’s come back tomorrow,” I whined.
“We’re here now and the party is tomorrow.”
We split up and met back at the cashier several decades later.
A bright-eyed, smiling woman checked us out. I had a large portable table in the squeaky cart but the bar code was on the opposite side of the perky clerk. I wheeled the squeaky cart around so it faced her.
She smiled at me, blue eyes open wide, scanned the table, and said, “Thank you.” Then she said to Dee Dee, “It’s nice to know you can still find some nice guys out there.” She nodded toward me.
“Oh, I didn’t find him that way. I trained him after I married him,” Dee Dee joked. Many a truth spoken in jest, I guess.
The clerk leaned over to Dee Dee and whispered something. Dee Dee’s smile sobered. Walking out I gave Dee Dee a look that asked, “What’d she say?”
“She told me she was lucky because she didn’t have to train her husband to be nice. ‘He married me even though he knew I had slight brain damage.’”
Both of us and the cart fell silent. Suddenly I was glad we ventured into the zoo and I thought I’d go back as long as the clerk with God’s eyes and God’s smile and “slight brain damage” would be there.
This living spiritually every day is hard. But maybe just heading out into the world with a new attitude and taking the time to look at people and events with new eyes is a good start.
Eugene C. Scott is writing these God sightings down daily in a journal and invites you to see the spiritual even in Walmart and join him in looking for God sightings in 2012. Also tell your stories about what it’s like. Comment here and join our “Living Spiritually” community by visiting and liking facebook.com/livingspiritually. Eugene still gets lost while shopping and is still co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church.