I’ve spent considerable time grocery shopping in my life, and I thought I was a master at it.
Supplying a household of five, including feeding ravenous teens and their friends definitely necessitated strategy.
Years ago, I clipped Sunday newspaper coupons and searched store ads where coupons doubled and stacked with sales for super deals. Then came smartphones, and I became a pro at digital coupons and grocery rebate apps. I shopped multiple stores for the best offers, bought in bulk, and made lists and meal plans.
Successful grocery shopping was like a sport with an exhilaration of scoring against the opponent. Stores sway you into impulse buys with elaborate displays and more expensive items at eye level. I am too smart for such marketing ploys.
Or am I? Mistakes happen. If I shop hungry or skip planning, bad choices are made. But the greatest eye-opener to my weaknesses came when the world shut down to a pandemic, and the arena for my sport became too dangerous.
I quickly learned about curbside pickup and how to shop for what was truly essential. It’s now undeniable how much time and money I wasted in stores when I thought I was winning a game.
Spiritually, what is essential?
What do our souls truly need to thrive, and how do we shop for it?
For one, things presented to us at eye-level are more costly than we think. Endless news of a broken world, regardless of your preferred news source, depletes our peace and our focus on the Lord’s promises. Over-consuming current events make us feel temporarily informed, but only until the next big story.
Similarly, grand displays of what the world offers highlight what you don’t have and use all the juiciest buzzwords to reel you in to a purchase. Take inventory of what you already own spiritually, and consider what benefits vs. clutters your life.
Planning for daily spiritual nourishment should include following proven recipes of personal testimonies and teachings spoken at each meeting of God’s people. Skipping planning, winging it, and relying on our own minds as we shop life will leave us forgetting something or throwing a bad choice into our carts in haste.
Nothing stinks more than coming home from a store, forgetting a key ingredient needed for a meal. How disappointing something tastes when I don’t feel like cooking and succumb to something packaged for convenience.
Last, but certainly not least, good news! All the soul-sustaining spiritual essentials we need aren’t victoriously scored in an exhausting sport-level shopping trip. In fact, they can’t be bought at all, they are gifts, only requiring broken hearts, contrite humble spirits, and faith (Psalms 34:18, Micah 6:8, Ephesians 2:8).
We never miss a sale date. God’s mercies are new each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). There will never be the supply shortages that we experience in earthly disasters.
The Lord invites His children, “Come child choose from my heavenly store. Here is peace and each child gets a part. Here is joy like a jewel for the heart. Precious gifts in the storehouse of the Lord, and there’s nothing child you can’t afford.” (“Storehouse of the Lord,” No. 80, Songs of Zion.)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.