Ode to Superstore
I don't really look forward to my monthly trips to Superstore. I thoroughly enjoy picking up local produce at the market, the fresh colours, crispness, and mingled scents, sweet, sour, spicy, earthy playing together a glorious sensuous orchestra. I take pleasure in the rich aroma of Mbeya or Peruvian fair trade organic coffee that I buy at Ten Thousand Villages. But Superstore? Can one find pleasure there?
During my most recent experience, I mentally prepared myself in advance for the crowded aisles, the messy shelves, the stress of reading row upon row of price tags in order to choose the best deal on shampoo, yogurt, and ketchup. But I wasn't prepared at all for the beauty of God's lesson.
Yes, it was crowded. Yes, people were stopping and blocking the way, interrupting my progress. Yes, my task-oriented drive was under attack. But then I saw.
An elderly Indian couple carefully worked their way through the crowd, and I took a moment to smile at them. A few feet away, I saw a young Korean family, with a young son trying to occupy himself by hanging upside down from the cart. A young Muslim woman, regally dressed in robes and scarves, held her children's hands. I smiled at her too and felt warmed by her reply. I realized that the need I had felt to find the fastest line-up had fallen away and that God was speaking to me. What could be more pleasurable than being completely surrounded by God's children? In the cacophony and diversity, I learned about harmony.
As I work and research in international issues and listen to international voices, my worldview continually expands. This is what scholarship is all about. It is not really about achievement but discovery. By allowing God to lead me in discovery, I can look forward to what He will reveal, especially in unexpected places.