Guilty, without Feeling Guilt

Wednesday, October 29

10-29By Vera Entwistle of Eugene, Oregan, USA

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God…

—Romans 14:17–18 NRSV

I have one skill down to a fine art: the laying on of guilt…upon myself. On my long “to-do” list I was to shop for the ingredients to make a pie for the potluck at church.

As I wandered around the store loading food in my cart, I began to realize this pie would not be cheap! Just then, I noted a “special” sign, and I went to see what the bargain was. Dozens of pies were on display. They included every variety of fruit pie. They all looked delicious. Best of all, they were not expensive!

Then my struggle began! The good steward in me said that buying a pie would be far cheaper than making one. However, what will I say if anyone asks, “Who made this pie?” Worse yet, someone might ask me for the recipe! And, chances are other wonderful, homemade masterpieces would surround my ready-made pie.

On the other hand, think of the time I would save! On and on went the inner wrangling as I tried to decide what to do.

Another shopper saw me standing there and said, “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why do I spend hours, sweating over a hot stove baking pies, when these are so cheap?’”

I laughed and admitted I had a church potluck to prepare for and wondered if showing up with a store-bought pie would embarrass me. She told me she often bought pies and then slipped them into one of her own glass dishes before taking them to church. We agreed that we humans often make life far more stressful than it needs to be.

So, I walked back up and down the aisles, returning the pie ingredients, and then I selected a fruit pie. I would take it to the potluck but would not slip it into one of my own dishes. Instead, I would attach a label saying, “Store-bought and carefully selected by Vera.” Then I went home, sat in a comfortable chair, and read my store-bought book!

Prayer for Peace Generous God, help us make Responsible Choices for spending our time. May we use our hands to bless others. Help us use more time for sharing the peace of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Hand Ministry Place your hand on a piece of paper and trace around it to create an outline. Add details of fingernails, wrinkles, or skin color if desired. Look at your hand and meditate about what you do with your hands each day. Ask God to direct your thoughts to a person in need of blessing, kindness, or healing touch. Pray for wisdom about the specific act needed by this person and decide how and when you will use your hands to complete this ministry.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will spend some time reading my store-bought Bible.

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4 Comments

  1. Vera, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your validation of my feelings – and actions!

  2. David Brock

     /  29 October 2014

    I love pie, so will take it store bought or homemade! I’m also happy to have a healthy dose of laughter in my daily spirituality. That’s good Daily Bread to savor and share with others. Thank you, Vera!

  3. John K

     /  29 October 2014

    Your inner wrangling is valuable learning time, thank you for sharing! Many of our purchases are unnecessary, upon further reflection.

  4. Brenda Mitchell

     /  29 October 2014

    Vera, I decided a long time ago that being a good steward of my time and money was more important than my culinary reputation! I would much rather read a book, for enjoyment, education or uplift, than spend time in the kitchen. I hope everyone enjoyed your specially-selected pie.

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