Yesterday, I started to panic when I realized my phone and computer were nearly drained of power, even though they were plugged in to recharge. I first checked to see if all the components were properly connected. I then tried different outlets in case the one I was using was somehow compromised. The indicators showed that there was no electrical connection, so I determined that it was a fault in the cord. I raced around to see if I had another cord to fit my Apple devices, but the others were older models that did not fit. It was after five o’clock and the thought of being without communication with my family sent ripples of anxiety through my brain. “I must find a new cord NOW,” I proclaimed, and jumped in the car on a quest. I had doubts that Downtown Daniel Island would have Apple supplies, and I could not think of friends with an IPhone who could spare a cord. The Computer Dr. was already closed. “Where is that electronics store”, I wondered. I walked into “The Closet Case” which was still open, and asked the smiling agent if she had a recharging cord I could borrow. Her Client looked at me like I was a basket case and said, “Try the gas station.” Off I went to the Kangaroo, but they apologized for not meeting my needs and sent me away. Then I walked into the ReFuel, and there on the counter was a display of chargers in rainbow colors! Relief. I bought one in pink and one in white. When I returned home, I was humbled by the thought of feeling powerless. While people in Puerto Rico are still waiting for power, and some are waiting for fresh water and gasoline; I was worried about being cut off from my family for a night. I replaced that panic with praise for the Lord who sees me through every storm, who will never leave me, and who gives me strength and confidence to solve problems. We may have candles and flashlights in case we loose power, but how are we prepared for the bigger storms in our life? My daughter in Miami said they still have a table full of supplies that they gathered before Hurricane Irma arrived with a vengeance. My son-in-law says the Zoo Miami is just reopening today after a month of clean up. We need to prepare our hearts for storms as well. This includes: faith in God’s plan for us, trusting that our prayers are important, and bravely asking for emotional support from those we are close to. We have more power than we realize. Can we solve every problem, heal every wound and help every person who asks us? Maybe we could with more faith in the Lord. Maybe a life lived with Christ leading us prevents problems, strengthens our bodies and guides us to others before they even ask for help. Let’s find the cord that keeps us connected. I am feeling recharged and reminded that we are never alone or without power to pray. Super charge me oh Lord!
Yesterday, I went to the drugstore. There are so many of them now, practically one at every major intersection. Back in the Sixties, there was one; The Ben Franklin Five and Dime. It was a fun place to spend our refund money after collecting pop bottles from construction sites. Getting a candy bar or a comic book was a real treat. Then, when I became a teenager, I might go in for lip stick or other beauty supplies, a magazine, and a diet drink. Now that I am sixty, I bought hearing aid batteries, compression socks, and medications. What happened to me? Good golly Miss Molly, I now qualify to be a grandma. That is actually happening this year and tonight I will know the gender so I can go shopping for pink or blue clothes! Forget the drugstore. Here I come infant department of every major department store! My sisters have alerted me to Goodwill for infant clothes that still have tags or look brand new; a smart choice when babies grow out of their wardrobe every two to three months. My girls wore matching KMart play clothes, hand-me-downs or back to school clothes from Carlisle’s. it has been a long time since I have shopped for little ones. It will be far more fun than my current drugstore trips. We saved a couple outfits from our children’s infancy, and most all of the furniture. The conundrum is how do we ship it all to them in Florida when it would be cheaper to buy all new, state of the art stuff. It seems smarter to sell it all or give it away and start fresh. Or, if anyone is moving to Florida, perhaps we could give you a few more things to take down? This decision making gives me heart palpitations and will land me back in the doctor’s office and the dreaded drugstore. “Breathe, take one concern at a time,” says my sage hubby. My thoughts easily go to places where people have next to nothing, or have to flee their homes and leave behind all their treasures and heirlooms. We put far too much value on our stuff. The Bible has much to say about this. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I know whether it is a boy or girl, this pending grandchild will steal my heart and suddenly nothing else will matter. All my friends tell me this is so. While our children prepare the baby’s room and create a safe and comfortable environment for their family, I will dream about being the best Grammy possible. Hopefully, health issues will never prevent me from loving the grans with my whole heart. Soon, very soon, we will walk holding hands into the drugstore to get a treat, like a smoothie and some kale chips, even though it will cost more than a nickel or a dime. The lesson today is: shopping is more fun when done with a buddy, and what we think we need now will be entirely different every decade we grow older. Which aisle can I find the Slowpokes please?
Last weekend, I was in the company of three lawyers for two days. How can a plebeian survive such an event you might wonder? There were deep discussions and intense questions about life choices. There were analyses of our theater and dining experiences. There were evaluations and high level thinking about politics, religion and ice cream. There were intellectual commentaries about legal matters and the judicial process. And I survived, actually thrived, because I love these three lawyers and respect them. One question still has me contemplating. Do I consider myself very religious? It seems a loaded question in today’s climate where religion can be equated with blind followers who are ignorant, or zealous opinionated people who are not enlightened by the current trends. My family might say I am very religious because they know I am devout in my faith, theology, and traditions. So in the style of Jeff Foxworthy, I have collected some ideas that may help define my answer.
If you believe there is a God and you pray to God, you might be religious.
If you go to a gathering place to worship with others most every Saturday or Sunday, you might be religious.
If you attend classes to learn more about the history of faithful people, you might be very religious.
If you like to sing songs of praise to God and read the stories about Godly people, you might be very religious.
If you meditate and read devotionals daily, you might be very religious.
If you teach others about your faith, you might be very religious.
If you are motivated to serve others according to the teachings of your faith, you might be religious.
If you establish programs to help the poor and needy, you might be very religious, or working for the government.
If you pledge money for missions and support a pastor in ministry, you might be religious.
If you are a missionary or pastor, you might be very religious.
If you look for answers to problems in the word of God, you might be religious.
If your issues have been solved through prayer and the words of God you might feel divinely blessed.
If you credit God for all good things, you might be religious.
If you believe you have a part in eternity, you might be very religious.
I believe the above qualifies me as very religious. I do not expect others to think or act the way I do because I am the product of several generations of Lutheran doctrine. I do expect the Holy Spirit to keep working wonders in the hearts and minds of everyone, so that they may find a spiritual purpose. What ever you believe in: work, love, magic, science, sports teams, people or God; it might be your religion. If you are passionate and share your enthusiasm for anything, you might be very religious. I will never be on the level with a lawyer and be able to articulate or defend the depths of my faith, or pretend I understand everything. I celebrate the anniversary of my baptism four years ago, it might mean I am religious, but that is my response to Jesus’s love and sacrifice. I hope that our family enjoys serving the community of God’s people for generations to come and that heaven includes regular ice cream socials. Make mine a coffee gelato please.