There is just something about the scent of shopping that calms me. I walk in the doors at Target and instantly my bad mood vanishes. Why is that? And I am not trying to be metaphoric when I talk about the scent of shopping, it is the kind that hits you like a rubberband and sends you right to that time in your life that makes you remember. My memory of shopping has always beeen a good thing. It seems as if I can always count on seeing something new or something that I “want” or “need” and as I drop it in my cart, a feeling of satisfaction follows it.
Maybe it is the memory of my dad and I shopping together. We always had the best times and I was dubbed his little shopping buddy. As a young child, he didn’t have a lot, though, as an adult, he quickly worked his way up through the ranks and was pretty successful. I grew up in what you might call a privileged childhood. The window of my bedroom had an ocean view and I grew up not hearing the same discussions that my kids have had to, about money and the lack of it, about bills, due dates and the arguments that sometimes followed…
My childhood had it’s issues but one of them was not money though I was not spoiled. I had an allowance and was taught the value of the dollar. However, I do remember oddly enough, the one thing my dad was worried about was retirement. He was always planning some new retirement investment and even discussed his strategies with me. Unforunately, he died at 51 jogging around our beautiful neighborhood and never really got to relax and enjoy much of it , which made a big impact on me through the years.
I have never needed a lot. I always looked at price tags and would even tell my dad I didn’t like something if I thought it was too over priced. Even so… I have an inkling that I have had lessons that I have needed to learn about the value of several differnt things in my lifetime. I am not sure what God is preparing me for but I have learned a lot by my own mistakes and the mistakes of my friends. I’ve had friends who had nothing as kids and then made it big and lost everything and have had a difficult time dealing with their lack of. Having nothing and then almost too much and then nothing again. Jesus is a story teller, he taught many lessons with metaphors. Perhaps, why I love them so much. But I figure there has got to be a lesson in here somewhere for me.
I have been reading the Prodigal God http://eprodigals.com/the-prodigal-son/prodigal-god-tim-keller.html?gclid=CJWXqry_7LICFcV7QgodPxIAaQ And it is so timely for me! It is from such a different perspective. Not really about just forgiving the younger son. But Jesus was teaching a lesson about the older brother’s attitude more than anything. I have found myself in both places through out my life. I have been the Prodigal son, needing my Father’s forgivenss for squandering what I had foolishly and then also the Prodigal Brother, resenting what was given in what I determine as being unearned.
I have been there a few times. Financially devestated, but by the grace of God, always having “just enough” Always working towards more and sometimes even getting it. But maybe that is the lesson. God’s Word is like that scent, the familiarity of walking through the doors feeling the want and need rise up inside of me, always the chance to find something new. But how much do I drop in my cart? How much do I take with me out the door? I have finally realized I have been looking in all the wrong places to fill up my cart.
I don’t have to walk through the doors of a store with an empty shopping cart in anticipation of getting filled up, I can go back to that familiar place, the one that always seems to welcome me with open arms… and everyday, find something I “need” and “want.”
●The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21) But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. (Luke 15:22) Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. (Luke 15:23) For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:24)