Sunday, July 23, 2006

random anxiety (or not)

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that I can get anxious over what flavor of frozen yogurt to choose, but in the face of fairly major life issues I can hang in there pretty well.

This isn't really a major life issue story, but it's a random thing that happened today, and I think I can write about it quickly.

I'm in the Target today, picking up stuff for the video institute (drinks, office supplies, etc. -- one of the great joys of my life is being able to purchase office supplies for CDS programs) and I take my full cart to the Starbucks to slap down my $2.68 on an iced venti Americano (mostly ice, very little water). I look in my enormous red faux patent leather pocketbook (thanks, Courtney), and my wallet isn't there.

I've been leaving my purse all around the building during the institute, so my wallet could have easily been filched by anyone wandering the building. So it's not unreasonable to think it might have been stolen. I also have a habit of leaving my purse in the front of my shopping cart (in the kid seat) and walking a few feet away to grab something off the shelf, so it could have happened that-away too.

But there I am, calm. I think, well, ok -- I can probably find change in my purse and my car in order to purchase the folders we absolutely need this afternoon. And the Guest Services desk will probably be willing to keep my cart of non-perishable food items until I can come back to make my purchase.

Then I think, I hope whoever stole my wallet really needs the money, and bless them, bless them. (I'm no saint -- there might have been $30 in my wallet, and I can cancel all my cards, etc.). The possibility of my wallet being stolen makes me oddly grateful, knowing how lucky I am that the money in my wallet doesn't really make a difference in my ability to eat or pay my bills or anything like that. I mean I just tried to spend almost $3 on a cup of coffee. And besides, my driver's license expired last October, so I needed a new one anyway.

Fortunately, I realized that I had both my checkbook and my passport (in my purse because of the expired driver's license, its presence is also reassuring lest I need to flee the country), and therefore I could pay for my groceries.

In my relief, I also went and wrote a check for $2.68 for my venti iced Americano (a Starbucks in a Tar-jey -- it's almost embarrassing to acknowledge what an obvious marketing demographic I really am).

In the end, when I went out to my car, I found my wallet under the passenger side seat.

This might be too much of a reach, but I’d like to use this incident as a theologically teachable moment.

I don’t think God or Jesus or whoever had anything to do with my wallet disappearing from my gigantic red pocketbook (However, I know that God had everything to do with my friend Courtney and I finding that pocketbook in a $5 clearance bin, and with Courtney’s generosity in purchasing me the said pocketbook). I do think, though, that my gratitude and calm had something to do with my experience of the S/spirit.

I believe that God places people in our path, opens doors, pushes us in certain directions, but I think there is a very complicated relationship between our own intentions and openness and how God (spirit, energy, etc.) works in our lives. I’m learning to recognize those moments when the spirit is present – but how that works is another story, for another day. But being present and grateful is the way to go, I think.

Now if I could only let go of my anxiety around little things, and things that don’t actually happen….

p.s. If you follow the frozen yogurt link, you need to hang in there til' the end to get the frozen yogurt reference. But I think it's worth it.

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