Years ago I went to a church auction which was raising funds for a community youth group of which I was the director. The variety of donated items, some new, some gently used, was vast. All the items were modest in value and most went for less than retail price. It was all fun for a collective purpose. I was enjoying watching the bidding and the items going by, watching for something on which to spend my self-determined budget. Then, with a handful of items left, there it was, the "Ah-ha!" item. It was a large white sweatshirt, with dark lettering and a clear message:
"The Road To Enlightenment is Long and Hard...
Bring Snacks and A Magazine."
The bidding for it started and actually got very lively, the most activity for an item all day. More people were bidding on it with a variety of amounts to increase the bidding, sometimes change, sometimes a dollar. The item had been donated by the pastors of one of the member churches, a gift they had received but never used! The message clearly resonated with many people in that basement, including me. The excitement continued and my final bid was the allowance I had set aside. It was the final bid, and then silence. The room was quiet, but there was excitement in the air. Mine was the final bid. The prized sweatshirt was mine. Interestingly enough, it was not for me. The memory of the lettering on the sweatshirt has been with me for years and pondered often. The sweatshirt was actually a gift for someone. A person with multiple degrees who continued throughout their life to seek their connection with God, through reading, prayer, retreats, and worship. That day, I was where I was supposed to be, bidding on that message. Maybe it is growing older, but for years I have been snacking and searching and continually on a journey. Like in the picture above, sometimes it is a more calm straight path and others it is rolling down an adventurous, meandering, and less clear road. Snacks, magazines, meditation, conversations, and cups of tea are all ways to be present on the way. Whatever opens the space to be ready for what is waiting to be experienced on the journey.
Kate Bower, Director Transfiguration Spirituality Center