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Key to inner peace: Priorities

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Regina Andrews - published on 09/11/23

A lovely reunion and stroke of luck brought an important spiritual lesson.

It was a regular Tuesday in the summer. Schedules are more relaxed, meals are more spontaneous, and life in general has a more mellow tone for most of us. Our household is no exception. 

I was on deadline for a work project when my phone rang. Glancing at the number I saw it was from my husband. “This is a nice surprise,” I said. His line of work has him traveling all over and it isn’t very often that we have a chance to chat in the middle of the day. 

“Put on your grilling shoes,” he said. “We’ve been invited to a barbecue at the boss’s beach house tomorrow night. There’s no getting out of it,” he said with a sigh.

“Oh, you’re so dramatic,” I laughed, “it will be fun! What can we bring?”

“Nothing,” my husband answered. “He told us not to worry about it.”

“Okay, talk to you later!” 

The thought of arriving at the barbecue empty-handed wasn’t sitting that well with me when I remembered that I had to make a fruit salad for tonight’s potluck dinner at our church. If I was making one fruit salad, it would be just as easy to make two and bring one to the barbecue the following evening. Off I went to the grocery store, my reusable bag over my shoulder. 

I was in the produce section selecting the items for our fruit salads when from behind me I heard “Gina! How are you?”

Turning around, I saw my friend Gretchen, who had lived across the street from us for several years before moving away six months earlier. Throwing my arms around her, we had a heartfelt reunion. She let me cuddle her new three-month-old baby boy as we strolled away from the produce section and headed for the baby food aisle.

Only when we said our goodbyes did I realize that I had left my reusable bag back in the produce department. In it were my keys, my wallet, my phone … all very important things! 

Heart pounding, I made a beeline back to the produce section. When I rounded the corner at the end of the aisle, I spotted my bag propped up on top of the cantaloupes, right where I had left it. What a relief!

It had been a wonderful reunion, but I had been so distracted that it could have had a less than happy outcome. And then it came to me: I wonder, how many times in our spiritual lives do we lose sight of very important things by allowing distractions to sidetrack us, and make us lose sight of our priorities? Avoiding distractions and keeping our priorities in focus, with the Holy Spirit’s help, is truly the key to inner peace.


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

The Human Being Fully Alive
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