Archive for August, 2010

Let Me Not Be Tempted…

Today’s the day.  Wednesday.  My friend and I get in the car and head for Flagstaff to pick up my Toyota Highlander, which is receiving a new fuel reading apparatus at the dealership.  We plan the day around the 11:00 a.m. ready time; we hit Kohl’s Department Store first for a big sale with my additional 30% off coupon; then, we go to Barnes & Noble for a scrumptious hot chocolate in the cafe and some delicious perusing of the books and music.  We arrive at the dealership at 11:05.  My friend has a 1:30 appointment back in Sedona, so we need to leave here by 11:30 to give her time for lunch.

I go in to the Assistant Manager, who is a lovely, competent, considerate, and kind woman, to let her know we’re ready to take the car.  The atmosphere is charged with business and overwhelm.  I say hi; she says hi, without her usual sparkling grin.  I say she looks stressed.  She says it’s been a day already.  Other car owners are standing around waiting to drop off, pick-up, learn the fate of their vehicles and how much it’ll cost them.  I sit in the chair in front of her desk to secure my position.

She says that the mechanic is putting on the second new part now, and it will be ready in a few.  Ten, twenty, thirty minutes go by.  My friend comes in from the parking lot worried about the time.  I explain.  She hits the restroom and goes back to the car we rode up in.  Five minutes later the Assistant Manager comes in from the work bay and tells me the people at the parts place have sent them the wrong part.  Mouth open, I stare at her, stunned.  “So it’s not fixed?  ”

“No.  Maybe tomorrow.  I’m so sorry,” she says, with more than a little trepidation–remember, it has been a day.

I laugh, say okay, and stroll out to the car.  I tell my friend that we can enjoy a lovely ride home together.  She looks at me dumfounded.  I explain.  And we head home, munching delicious fresh rice cakes and yogurt sauce from New Frontiers Deli Case and laughing about the whole plan, which has gone awry, but afforded us a beautiful drive and a great time in Kohl’s and Barnes & Noble.  Something we would have done anyway, car repair or no car repair.  Something we may just do again on Friday morning when we really do pick up the Highlander.

The moral of the story is this:  I could have, and would have in the past, gotten mad, bitched about coming all the way from Sedona for nothing, taken it out on the Assistant Manager–who was kind and faultless–heaped more stress on her, and turned my experience into a negative, anger-charged affair.  But, I didn’t do that.  I remained joyful, grounded, flexible, and grateful, and showered that on the Assistant Manager, visibly lightening her load.  Instead of storming out of the place I gave her a warm hug, said thanks, told her to hang in there and that I’d see her soon.  It felt so much better than the other thing!

What helps me stay grounded, joyful, flexible, and grateful is a prayer, one of several, that I say every morning.  It is a prayer written by Marianne Williamson and contained in her gorgeous volume entitled Illuminata, published by Random House.  I will quote  a few lines from Morning Prayer:

Dear God,

I give this day to You.

May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit.

May I not be tempted to stray from love.

The prayer goes on and is glorious.  It’s how I start every day of my life and it makes such a HUGE difference in the way I experience everything.

May you go into this day centered in spirit and not be tempted to stray from love.



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