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Talking with God at the Gas Pump


Or, A Divine Lesson on Happiness

a beautiful sunset in the desert


So I stopped at the local Quickie Mart to get gas on my way to work this morning. Now, you would think this would be a simple task in this wondrous age of technology with advances in science and medicine never seen before. The progressions we've made in surveillance alone, quite frankly I'm surprised the Quickie Mart didn't know I was coming and was totally prepared for me. Perhaps they were. 

The gas pump has an interface screen feeding you directions and asking questions, while just above it a TV screen plays the Quickie Mart's favorite commercials. I'm instantly met with a smiley face asking me if I would like a large tasty beverage for just $1.69.  “No thank you” I respond with a chuckle. The lower screen is flashing at me asking me if I have a rewards card. Once again I mumble out loud “No thank you.”  I swipe my Amex and a prompt pops up asking me for my billing zip code.  I type in the code and hit enter, at least I think I hit enter.

The TV screen is blurring once again, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”  “Try our new tasty cheese, egg, and sausage biscuits!”  First of all, I doubt seriously there's any actual egg, cheese, or sausage in that crazy concoction, and I'm not so sure about the myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I just lost a bit of faith in the truthfulness of the visual sales bot.

Suddenly I hear God talking to me from above and she doesn't sound happy, “May I help you?” 

Looking all around wondering what I did to deserve the divine intervention I respond back to her. “No thank you I am fine.”  Kind of cool when you think about it, I talk to her all the time but rarely does she say anything back. Today is going to be a great day.

Turning my attention back to the screen I notice my zip code has disappeared and I am back to the prompt asking if I have a rewards card.  Again I answer no, swipe my Amex, provide the zip code, and hit the enter button. 

Once again the voice from above echoes “how may I help you?” 

I figure if God asks you something twice, she is trying to make a point and you better think about the question a little bit.  So I start pondering, looking at the TV screen running yet another commercial, this time for doughnuts and in an odd sort of way making me realize the person on the other side really doesn't care about my health, or rather or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Work has been a little tedious, my blog and website are doing well but I should be oh so happy if they would do a little bit better, maybe this is what God is asking about. So I respond, “well, as I'm sure you know things at work of been crazy. I'm a little unsure as to the future of the company and my role there. I don't enjoy the work like I used to and you know that's very important to me. I guess I could use some help with that.”

The heavens silence and I receive no response. After a moment of staring upward, I hear a beep from the gas pump interface and notice that once again it is reset and it is asking for my rewards card.  I'm starting to get a little annoyed, knowing full well that every bit of information I enter into this R2 wanna- be, gets stored and sorted, data mined and sold, and eventually ends up as a pile of unwanted junk mail in my P.O. Box. I then throw away the junk mail adding to our landfill problem. Long story short, I know for a fact that R2-dumbass knows I don't have a rewards card.  I say no, swipe my Amex, and R2 then asks for my zip code once again, (BTW - I know he knows that as well as he sends me mail).  I enter my zip code and once again the heavens crackle. 

I have to say at this point I discover God is not a patient person, the booming voice is short, abrupt, and not filled with the motherly love I so hoped to be embraced with at the first meeting of my heavenly mother. 

“What is the problem?”

Maybe the frustration is with me, I mean I have a good job, it pays well, I like the people I work with and although the work is not as satisfying as it used to be, it is honest and I get to help people. I have plenty of off time to Dutch oven and hike.  Perhaps she is frustrated with the fact that I'm being a little bit selfish, a lot selfish. For a brief moment of introspection, I have learned a great deal about myself and I am just a little bit ashamed. I'm not usually the guilty type nor do I usually feel shame (man do I have some interesting stories about that), and a part of that may be that when I noticed something's not right I try to fix it. 

I look to the heavens with a happy voice full of sincere intent and gratitude and yell back “you are absolutely right, there is no problem I am doing great and I couldn't be happier thank you for everything in this big beautiful world.”   I'm feeling pretty good about life now, re-centered myself at the beginning of the day, a big chunk of happiness is expectation.  The TV commercial above me his advertising smart water.  Though clean water is the most important substance on earth, I'm feeling like I don't need any right now. 

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I turn, climb into my vehicle, and begin to pull forward when the gaslight blinking reminds me why stopped her in the first place.  Oddly enough it was not for a breakfast biscuit, doughnuts, smart water, or even a life enlightening conversation with the divine, I need gas.  Luckily there's a second set of pumps just ahead so I stop. As I'm looking at the keypad I notice the standard sequence of numbers in groups of three, 123, 456, 789, but the bottom row is different than I expected.  Cancel – 0 – Help.

Truth can be found in a myriad of places, some are very articulate and visible to all, while others manifest themselves only within the deep chemical reactions in our mind. Either way, truth is truth. Among these great truths is that our happiness is dependent upon only one person. Only slightly less important in the great and vast wisdom of all time and throughout the universe is that the “enter key” should be located on the same keypad where the requested data is entered.

Be happy, be there, and share your adventures!





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