Did you find what you were looking for

Last night after a long evening of work I stopped by the grocery for something prepared to eat for dinner.  Regularly the clerks ask, “Did you find what you were looking for?”  It sounds like a casual question, but it isn’t, of course.  If the associates have been properly trained it is a spot inspection, a window into customer satisfaction, and a mission-oriented enquiry.

Are we meeting your needs?

Getting the job done?

Accomplishing our goal?

Selling you product?

Likely to see you return?

It occurs to me that the same question is something we could ask ourselves on a regular basis about the way that we live life.  But for most of us — at one time or another — and a lot of us — all the time — we are far more haphazard and unfocused in the way that we live.

But which matters most…the chicken scaloppini at Whole Foods, or the way we live our lives?  The spiritual life is an intentional life.  That doesn’t mean it is lacking in spontaneity, surprise, and play.  It does mean that we live with some sense that we have found what we are looking for.

About Frederick Schmidt

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009), and The Dave Test (Abingdon, 2013). He and his wife, Natalie (who is also an Episcopal priest), live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and five grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, Sophie, and Drew, with a sixth on the way.