123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Buyable Thoughts

I get really nervous when I have to ring doorbells.

Even if I'm standing on the threshold of a dear relative's or friend's house, I still hold my breath, anxious with worries of what will happen when they answer. Or worse, if they don't answer.

As you might imagine, I was terrible at Girl Scout cookie sales.

But, my little affliction has given me an empathy for all of those souls who find themselves on my doorstep, namely solicitors of crap and Jehova's Witnesses. Both are selling something, and I am unable to turn them away without at least listening to their shcpeil (schpeel? shcpeel? schpeal?).

Sometimes, though, they have just what I need.

This past Saturday morning, two very dapper gentlemen came to the door. They had their little bibles and they had their little sacks of tracts. I opened the door, resigned to their speech.

"Hello. I'm sorry I can't open the screen door—the dog. He's not always friendly."

"Oh, that's all right. We can spread God's love through the screen," said Dapper Gentleman No. 1. "May we share a bible thought with you?"

"Sure. Lay it on me."

"All right. This is coming from Matthew Chapter 6, verse 25." He flipped around for a bit, cleared his throat and said:

"'This is why I tell you: Do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? Look at the birds: They do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Are you worth much more than birds? Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?'" (This is from the Catholic bible, so ya'lls' versions might be a lil' bit different.)

"Miss, do you know why it is that most of us experience anxiety?" No. 1 asked me.

First of all, I like it when people call me "miss." Second, I like it when I have the right answer. I told him that it's because we fail to live in the present and spend most of our time worrying about what has been or what will be.

"Very good! Very good. You've got it down. Do you see that bird on the tree? Do you think he worries about what he's going to eat or where he's going to sleep?"

"No, I don't. He doesn't even seem overly concerned with where he poops, given the neighbor's car."

"That's right. He doesn't worry because he knows he's taken care of by God's love. And in that way, you and I are taken care of, as well. We need not worry. We need not be anxious."

Now, say what you want about religious zealots and what not, but the dog, who usually bares teeth at any stranger who even uses the sidewalk, sat there and listened to the bible thought with me, quiet as a church mouse. If I didn't know better, I'd of thought these Dapper Gentlemen were made of bacon, the way he was so quietly transfixed on them.

I thanked both gents sincerely for the reminder that worry is worthless, and I was rewarded with a copy of The Watch Tower and a promise that they'd return again with another bible thought.

Now, I'm not a bible thumper, and quite honestly, I'm generally uncomfortable with the idea of religious passion. It embarrasses me. I've also had my ins and outs with organized religion over the years, but there's something so very comforting about knowing that it's all taken care of, you know? That's a just a wonderful message to share.

So, be the bird today. Don't let worries about future material matters weigh you down. Just keep flying.

Oh, Lord. That was bad. I am sorry for the sappy wrap-up. I'm gonna have to go to confession for that one.

In the Comments section, tell me if you think these gentlemen were made of bacon.

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