Shopping

False gods

Like many people, I was a Target fan.  I lived for the clearance pile.  My heart would pound with excitement driving to the store each week.  I couldn’t wait to get there!  It was like a person needing their morning coffee.  I had to have my Target fix.  I would find stylish clothes for my kids so cheaply.  It was also my escape time while the kids were at school.  I referred to it as Target therapy.  Sometimes I would run into other moms enjoying some Target therapy too. 

I was a Target expert.  I knew which days the different departments marked down.  I followed groups online for Target lovers and Target shopping tips.  Some of the best deals I snagged over the years were:  a ping pong table for $30, a gas grill for $90, a large inflatable swimming pool for $20 and outdoor wicker chairs for $25!  My record shopping streak was nine consecutive days!  I was the Clearance Queen!

However, I was beginning to feel like Target had become a false god in my life.  Shopping there was too emotional.  I shouldn’t like it THAT much, should I?  The thing that eventually tore me away from the hold Target had on me was becoming an actual Target employee!  God has an interesting sense of humor.

I thought I would finally learn all the secrets of the clearance piles and Target in general, but I didn’t.  They divulged nothing to regular employees.  Their  woke agenda made me feel like a traitor to my own values, even if I was doing it to pay private school tuition, which made it seem all the more wrong.  The work was physically grueling, the pay terrible, the treatment worse.  My life was taken over by Target alright, but no longer in the fun, Target therapy way.  It was a very humbling experience.

While there, I ended up meeting all kinds of people from very different cultures and backgrounds.  I worked with young and old, manipulators and back stabbers.  I had many different conversations with people in the lunch room.  I listened to people’s stories and life journeys and at times tears were shed.  I saw a lot of brokenness in people.  I like to think I was sent there for a time to be a light in the darkness.   Maybe some seeds were sown.  Maybe there was a reason for that season of my life.

Some years later, I no longer enjoy shopping at Target very much.  Things have changed a lot, prices have risen.  My kids have grown up and I don’t need as much stuff, plus I still have way too much stockpiled from days gone by. 

And so God cured me of constantly needing a Target fix and now, instead, I sometimes experience that same pounding heart kind of excitement, but it’s while driving to church.  There are times when I can hardly stand it and can’t wait to get there to spend time with the Lord and receive Him in the Eucharist or spend quiet time with Him at Adoration.  Often I will hear just the right Christian song on the radio in the car and it becomes a kind of praise session.  Other times, it is just the song I need at the time, God speaking to me through the music.  It’s like a glimpse of heaven.  

So let us be aware of the false gods in our life.  Sometimes it could be a person or material things, sometimes power, money, security (or Target).  But whatever it is, nothing should keep us from our first Love.  Let Christ be number one in our lives.  It’s easier said than done, the world is full of distractions, but I do enjoy the times I am blessed with a little glimpse of heaven.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Exodus 20:2-3   “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall not have other gods beside me.”

God and Curtains

2006

What does God have to do with curtains?  Well, I’ll tell you.

I dropped the kids off at school, cleaned the bathroom, and decided to hang the gold curtain panels I had bought for our new home.  I found the curtains in the clearance pile at Wal-Mart for $5.00 per panel!  A steal!  I needed 6 panels, which totaled $30.00 compared to a custom curtain quote of $1,600! 

I wanted the floor length size and there were only 3 packs left but one pack was a shorter length.   I figured I have 3 windows, for this price I’ll make it work.  As it turns out it was a blessing in disguise because the shorter panels looked much better on the main window anyway.  It was too good to be true. The color looked great with the barn red walls and the price was unbeatable.  I felt like I was a good steward of our finances.

I was so excited, I whispered, “Gee Lord, it seems like you have blessed me with these curtains for some reason, why would you care about curtains?”  And He immediately seemed to respond, “because you care about Me.”  Whoa!  I wasn’t really expecting an answer!

I used to watch Joyce Meyer, a television preacher and author, and she would speak about being “anointed to shop”.  I always could relate to that. I sure was “anointed” to shop for those curtains!

The whole experience got me thinking about how we can find God in all the little things that happen each day and talk to Him as we go about whatever we are doing.  Nothing is too insignificant for our Creator that loves us, not even curtains.  He meets all our needs.  God will come to us wherever we are.  Drawing us to Himself, communing with us, loving us, blessing us, surprising us, filling us with joy.  Yes, even furnishing us with curtains!

Further, it occurred to me there is even some significance to the curtains being gold.  Gold is associated with riches, blessing.  It’s a precious metal that’s been around through the centuries.  The first place Olympic medal is gold.  Gold is used in jewelry and wedding rings.  It symbolizes royalty.  One of the gifts the Christ child, the King of Kings, was given, was gold.   I looked up “gold” in my small Bible concordance.  Wow!  There are more entries for “gold” than most other words!  Starting in Genesis through to Revelation, gold is mentioned.

So it was as if God gave me a golden gift of curtains, but even better, the gift of Himself and His presence in my day.  Reminding me that each one of us, our faith, our Jesus, are all infinitely more precious than gold.

I’ll never look at those curtains the same way again.  And it’s 2022 as I edit and post this, and those curtains are still hanging there, as gold as ever!

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