Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The toothpaste story

Kim reminded me of this story the other day, and I could have sworn I'd blogged about it already but couldn't find it anywhere. I know I've written about it somewhere. Anyway, here it is again, and if you've heard it already, forgive me!

It was one of those times I was petrified. When I thought, My God, what have I done?

The kids and I lived in Santa Monica, California, at the time, and I had the highest paying job I'd ever had. Even still, though, with two kids and So-Cal cost-of-living, we were just getting by. Then, my firm had lay-offs. Through a series of circumstances, I thought it was right to volunteer to be laid off.

This was a Thursday. On Friday, I found myself out of a job and at home for the first time in five years. The reality of the situation started to sink in first thing in the morning, and trembling, I got up to start the day. My biggest concern was money. How would we survive?

The last several months, though, I'd devoted to stepping up my spiritual regimen. All my free time, along with down times at work, had been oriented toward spiritual study and prayer. I'd gained many significant spiritual insights and had been transformed from one who prayed only in a crisis to one who prayed for the sheer joy of it. I felt closer to divine Love than I ever had before.

The spiritual insights were almost like a bank account, and I'd been making deposits every day. The great thing about a spiritual bank account is that even when you spend your spirituality, the account doesn't get any smaller. In fact, the more you use it, the larger it gets. By practicing what I was learning, my spiritual reservoir was actually growing.

So that morning, as I stood at my sink getting ready for the day, I thought about what I'd been learning. I relaxed slightly, and felt a growing sense of trust. And then the moment came that has truly stayed with me in all the lean times since then.

I looked at the toothpaste tube in my hand. It was nearly full. I thought, "Hey, at least I don't have to buy toothpaste for a while." I thought of the full gallon of milk in the fridge downstairs. I thought of the full tank of gas in my car. I thought of our closets full of clothes and all the furniture we had. I began to feel rich.

I thought, "I have everything I need *today*. Why am I doubting I'll have all I need tomorrow?"

This startling declaration of trust turned me around. My confidence that all would be well grew in that moment, and colored my decisions and actions thereafter.

Well, obviously, we did survive. One day at a time, our needs were met, both through my own earnings and through generous help from friends and family. I've been encouraged to continue in that spiritual path as it blossomed beyond my own life to helping others with prayer.

Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.

--Mary Baker Eddy


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4 Comments:

At 7/19/2006 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Kim said...

YES! I love this story. Thanks for the re-post.

Love ya,

Kim

 
At 7/19/2006 11:02:00 AM, Blogger athos said...

This is great, Laura...i love the idea of living in the "right now." this is all we have to be aware of, be "present" with!

 
At 7/19/2006 06:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a great story! Loved it when I first read it (was an article on spirituality.com early on) and remember the lesson often lately. Great to read it again!

Bets

 
At 7/20/2006 01:15:00 AM, Blogger Miki said...

Thanks a lot for such an inspiring post, Laura! Sometimes I feel as if the words "if you wait, never doubting" are specifically for me as most of the time I think my prayer is more like I read somewhere:" Lord, please grant me patience, only do it now!"
Thanks and bless you.

Miki

 

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