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Christmas retail—a spiritual perspective
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
The hustle and bustle of the mall was in full swing for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations as I walked to the clothing store where I worked. I envied the people I saw sitting on a bench or laughing with a friend. I wanted to relax and have fun, too. I dreaded going to a busy store where I would be on my feet for hours with a fake smile plastered on my face. I had been a seasonal worker for the same retail store for about a year, and I deeply disliked the work. If I wasn’t bored, I felt overworked. Each day, I pretended to care about overpriced merchandise, served unappreciative (and sometimes rude) customers, and felt embarrassed when I couldn’t complete a transaction without help from a manager. I would mentally count down the hours until I could go home as soon as I arrived at work. Then, one day, as that familiar feeling of dread swept over me, I decided enough was enough! It was time to change my perspective and turn to God.
I gleaned inspiration from a Bible citation I had heard in both Sunday School and church: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). This quote reminded me that God never created anything bad; God only created good things, so my job had to be a good thing. I affirmed that God always wanted me to be happy. One concept I remember discussing in Sunday School was that God was our divine Parent—our Father-Mother God. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, wrote a spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer in Science and Health. She interpreted “Our Father which art in Heaven” as “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” ( p. 16). To me, that means God is complete with feminine tenderness and masculine strength, which brings peace because He provides us with unconditional and constant care. I thought about my parents and how they always wanted me to be happy. If I had a divine Parent, I knew I could trust that my Father-Mother provided joy for me at every moment.