The thing was, I had been saying that all day. Not only had I neglected praying for myself for lack of time, but I was pushing off all kinds of things. "I would do this, or I should do that, but I don't have time. I will get to it later." And the time kept passing, and the pressure kept building, and my mood - along with the attitude of all those around me - was deteriorating.
As things continued heating up in front of me, I starting looking around the store for an escape route to a shorter, less volatile line. A sign over head caught my eye: Self Checkout. Without budging an inch, I chuckled, thinking, "That is probably what is needed more than anything else - a moment of self-examination!"
In a letter to the church at Philippi, Paul encouraged the Philippians to pray regularly. He explained that prayer enables us to get everything done with joy and inspired energy. He also commended the Philippians for sharing "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God." (See Philippians, Chapter 4)
Standing in the grocery line I thought about the smell I was giving off - of irritation, criticism, pressure and impatience. I smelled like a woman who hadn't changed into clean clothes or brushed her teeth before going to the store. I couldn't blame the people around me for picking up on my smelly thoughts.
Dispute over. All was calm as she rolled her cart away. And the checkout clerk greeted me with a friendly, "Good morning. How are you?"
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures explains, "Mind, God, sends forth the aroma of Spirit, the atmosphere of intelligence." Through prayer for ourselves we reflect that sweet-smelling savour of God's love and goodness, and everyone around us picks up the scent. (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 191)
I don't leave the house anymore without putting on the perfume of prayer. I wouldn't do that to the people standing near me.
All it takes is a post-it note on the bathroom mirror - PRAY NOW. If you have time to brush your teeth, you have time to pray for yourself. We owe it to those around us to give off our best smell - the sweet-smelling savour of an awareness God's goodness inside and out.