Yesterday was a take care of me day. Not, in a go to the spa, soak in the bathtub, or get my hair done, take care of me day That’s waiting in the wings. First on that list will be getting a new perm.

Yesterday’s take care of me day was one in which I tackled many of those put off until tomorrow tasks that have been piling up. None of them were that complicated. They were just things I don’t like to do or ones that were only half done. Now that they are completed, I’m feeling rather smug.

I keep getting in my own way. I can make mountains out of molehills. My imagination is amazing. It can come up with the silliest reasons to worry or avoid something that, when tackled, takes all of five minutes. The older I get, the easier it is to put off those things I should be doing today.

I have always longed for an intense spiritual experience, something to convince me, once and for all, that there truly is a God. You know, seeing Jesus or angels or something ethereal and dramatic.

This doubt thing can get old. However, the closest I’ve come to what I’d call a spiritual experience were two times when I was in a major snit and pity party and heard this voice say loud and clear, “Oh, for goodness sake, get over yourself!” and the time I was in the hospital, so sick I was sure I was dying. That time I prayed, “Let me see you, Jesus, angels, or something special before I die.” Within minutes of that prayer, I opened my eyes and saw two of my friends standing at the foot of my bed. Sick as I was, I couldn’t help but laugh.

That’s when I knew that 1. God has a sense of humor, or why else did he send two of my wackier friends to be my angels, and 2. I was going to live.

Truth be told, I’m grateful for my non-ethereal religious experiences, even when they have been humbling, spit in your face reminders. Like Job, God put me in my place with a cool, “Who are you to question my ways? Can you control the winds? Create sea monsters? Set the stars and moon in their heavens?” Being unsure of myself, I want direct proof that God exists, that it’s worth all the effort it takes to be good, kind, forgiving, and loving. If there’s no God, who cares?

When I look back over my life, I see evidence of God everywhere I look, even in the smallest details of everyday life. I see God in our battle with addictions, in times of fear and doubt, when my husband was so sick, after my Dad was killed in an auto accident. In spite of my longing for a romantic mountain top experience, I’m truly grateful God has found ways to put me in my place. After all, a gratitude filled humility may just be the best way, not only to take care of myself, but to get over all my nonproductive feelings of inferiority and self doubt.

Joyce Shutt is the author of Steps to Hope, a veteran 12 stepper, and pastor emeritus of the Fairfield Mennonite Church.

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