Dearest Readers,

Imagine going into a store to buy something you need and leaving that store with the item you needed and a whole bunch of other stuff you did not need. Imagine then checking out of your hotel and forgetting that first item, the one you actually needed, in the room.

What is that? Irony? Murphy’s Law? The Forget-It Fairies?

Regardless of its nature, this minor bummer didn’t, in fact, happen to me but it did happen to my roomie here in San Antonio. She needed a special kind of shampoo so we went into a cosmetics store to buy it and she ended up leaving with a whole skin cleansing system in addition to the shampoo.

In her own words, “The sales clerk saw me coming.”

This morning when I got up she had already left. The one item she left behind? Her special shampoo. I checked out myself a few hours later and left her shampoo sitting there on the counter. What I went through before I departed, however, is another story.

Should I package it up and send it to her? The post office is closed. I could ask the concierge to send it to her. No address and besides, she’s not even going back to her home right away. I could forego the carry-on option and pack it in my luggage. It would cost me $55USD to check the bag.

Who needs yoga when you’ve got a mind doing mental gymnastics like these?

Of course, there was one more option to consider: letting it go. But the waste! The money, the shampoo, the packaging!

Let it go. But… but… but…

I find it so difficult to throw stuff out and to see useful things unused. I’ve been particularly challenged on this trip what with no recycling in either the Bahamas or New Orleans. So much plastic and glass being thrown in the garbage. So much waste in every corner of our cultural fabric. It can make a person crazy.

When I feel this powerless I remember the words of a wise monk who once gave me some very practical advice. I had to destroy a wasp’s nest and couldn’t bear it. What should I do? “Offer it to God,” she told me.

It seemed too simple. But… but… but…

Offer it to God.

Can I control the amount of waste in the world? No. I can do my part. That is all. What to do with the rest of it? There’s so much. It’s overwhelming.

Offer it to God.

Is this a cop-out? Some might think so. Like a Catholic confession, do what you want and be forgiven. Create all the waste you want and then offer it to God.

No. This is not the idea. The idea is to offer up that which we cannot control or change. “This is too big for me. Take it.”

Even if it’s as small as a bottle of shampoo.

Inspiring Message of the Day: From oil spills to wasted products, there is so much in the world that makes me feel helpless and powerless. I will offer it all, including how I feel about it, to the Highest Power Back of All Things. I will trust that these things are being taken care of by the Unseen.