Life is somewhat like a trip to the Mart.

May 27, 2007, Sunday Written and Posted

I am a couple of days late with the piece this week. Please forgive me.

Life is somewhat like a trip to the Mart.

            This week’s piece will be a bit different than the norm. I am going to tell a seemingly insignificant story of the day in life of any person, anywhere. As I tell the story I am going to interject spiritual truths and insights connecting this average daily task into a much larger life journey. These notes will be inserted within the text enclosed in [brackets and in bold font]. I hope you enjoy this simply story and the deep truth it conveys.

            It was much like any other day and I had need of a variety of items and had to go the local mega market to find all of them under one roof. However, going to this market is often a very stressful and tension filled task. Frequently, a friend will accompany me. On this particular day we had both already had a few busy and stressful days and our approach to tackling this daunting, task of a dozen items on a list, would become startling clear. [Scripture refers to life as a journey not a destination, as we have an eternal home. It lets us know from the onset that as Christians it will be filled with painful and often difficult times. It is not portrayed as a party adventure with nothing but fun, fun, fun. We travel this road with others who are and who call themselves the Followers of Christ. Our approaches are often not in agreement with one another. Yet, we travel on together. When one looks out over life and sees as well as experiences the hardships that can come with they can find themselves one day realizing they seems to feel disheartened a good bit.]

Romans 5:3-5

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 John 4:7

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

            We are going on about our way grabbing an item here and an item there when the tension is mounting. There are people everywhere, turning left and right, we are weeding through the maze of each isle. Okay, they are out of this, they don’t have that. We get to the cosmetic section and we are looking to find the sunscreen. Great there is a large corner display of various skin protecting produces.

I am a writer and I stay indoors quite a bit. However, in the spring and fall I especially like many of the events which take place outside, annually. Outside to a fair-skinned individual like me can be brutal. Sunscreen is a must – the higher SPF the better. I had heard of the sunscreen for the face, with vitamins C and E which contained a soy product which is good for the skin; with a SPF protection of 55. 55, wow, I had to have it, perhaps I could save my face this year from some of the damage it often suffers.  

Back to us in the Mart; so, we are there and we are searching the display over. No sign of the particular one I am looking for or any with a SPF of 55. I am bit frustrated – with everything else that has been going on over the course of the last week. I turn to my friend and say, “Now, what? Where else in this town am I am going to be able to find this stuff.” I am met with the reply of, “Look, when you have looked and the product is not there, as we have, you have to just let it go and move on.” Something in me said, why? Why, give up just like that? Nonetheless, I did move on.

We went to automotive and were getting ready to head over to the grocery section when I realized I had forgotten to get another item in cosmetics. We had to return much too both our chagrin. We darted back quickly, my friend found the item in record time.

 Then I saw the store clerk settled in the floor filling her stock. I had to take the chance. I said, “Excuse me, is this display of sunscreen the only one in the store or are there other areas I can find sunscreen.” Annoyed, yet tolerant, the clerk informs me that there is a large display of sunscreen down by the pharmacy and a small display in front of register 22.

I am off! With my friend trailing behind – most likely thinking it is a useless journey. My eyes scan one side of the display, nothing. My eyes take focus on the other side. Bingo, there it sits; just as advertised, plain as day. I pick it up, we both read it over, throw it in the cart, and we are off and running again, one of us a bit happier; grateful that I followed my own instincts, went back, and tried again to find my desire. [These two approaches to the pursuit of life are both found among Christians. One determined to give it the extra effort and the other content to settle for what is easy to obtain. Yet, we are called to both follow peace and persevere in life. What about when those two roads cross one another and it seems impossible to travel both. Not every individual starts out taking the path easily traveled. As the years go on and the heartaches, disappointments, and failures mount they begin to look around at those traveling on the “if it doesn’t come easily I do not want it path” and think within themselves, “Maybe whatever will be, will be is…?” Yet, when they look at what appears to the vacancy within the eyes of those who live this way they cannot bring themselves to accept that path as better; despite how it looks.]

Philippians 3:12

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

2 Timothy 2:22

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

This idea of easy Christianity, which is packaged and sold today, is not represented in my Bible, what about yours?

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