7/16/2010

Karma

I don't believe in karma in the Buddhist sense.  Ya know, all bad deeds will be punished eventually and all good deeds will be rewarded in the end.

Aside: U2's Bono explains the gospel very well in terms of grace verses karma.  

But I do believe that God sometimes orchestrates moments in our lives that can look a whole lot like karma.

Case in point.  Hubby was sick and didn't want to go out for dinner, so I called in a take-out order at Pei Wei. (Mmmmm my favorite food EVAH.)

Aside: I fully admit that I am still very much a yankee, in that hurry-up-and-get-where-I'm-going-and-don't-you-dare-get-in-my-path kinda way.

So I pull in and head for the take-out door, following one lady with another lady right behind me. Per a usual Friday night, the take-out area is jammed and I step one foot in and find myself third in line, with other customers seated all around waiting for their orders.

Here's where it gets interesting.  The lady behind me does not stop in line behind me.  She side-steps me to the right and heads straight up to the counter with a determined look on her face.  I wasn't sure at first if she would have the audacity...so I watched.  She looked straight at the other employees behind the counter and didn't dare to catch my eye.  The lady two people in front of me is finishing up paying and collecting her order.  A second guy steps up on my left to the lady in front of me and asks if she was next in line, which she confirms.  He starts ringing her up on my left.  A third guy is helping organize the bags when I see the brazen women to my right catch his attention and say "Is my order ready?"and point to the bags behind him.

I admit, my first reaction was to shout "Oh NO YOU DI'N'T, B*TCH!" 

Thankfully my immediate second reaction was "Remember Sarah, servant of all. Servant of all, Sarah."  I kept repeating this in my head over and over while my pulse slowed.

Aside: In case you have no idea what the voice in my head was referring to, it's a Bible verse, Mark 9:35 where Jesus said "If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and the servant of all." It's God's command for us to be always humble and not ambitious, willing to always serve, always be willing to let someone ahead of us.  

I watched as he looked for her bag, didn't find it, and started over to the food counter to assemble it for her.

Then I watched as the two women in front of me both finished paying and walked out, and the very nice cashier asked my name.  He was SO nice, despite the chaos.  He said "Oh my sister's name is Sarah."  And turned to the food counter to assemble my bag.  Quickly he came back, and as I handed him my money he continued "Is that spelled with an H? My family spells it with H's too."

I started to walk away and said "Oh, I think I ordered a fountain soda..." he cut me off as he handed me a cup "they musta missed it on the order but I don't care."  I smiled and turned to fill up my free soda cup.

And I couldn't help but notice the other lady, still waiting for her food.

4 comments:

jenifer said...

sweet. sometimes, it's just more pleasant to be patient.

just for factual correctness, the buddhist understanding of Karma is that it is an action based upon intention (usually made by an unenlightened being), and that hte action will have a consequence--good or bad, it keeps on in the wheel of samsara, rather than moving toward nirvana.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma_in_Buddhism

on the other hand, in other vedic religions (particularly hinduism, but not jainism), karma is an intentional action with consequences that will be rewarded or punished by the will of God in God's own timing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

so, the karma to which you were referring is more akin to hindu/sikh versions of karma, have no relation to jain versions (from what i can tell), and are different from buddhist versions.

i do love that bono.

jenifer said...

double correction.

for buddhists, the issue is to get out of samsara. consequences for karmic actions can be good or bad, but it is irrelevant to the grander scheme. the point of buddhism is to get to nirvana--out of samsara. thus, one has to get out of the doing of karmic actions and into right actions of the enlightened being, the "consequence" of which is to maintain and birng about for others the nirvana experience.

secondarily, hindus do not focus on intentional action. rather, it's any action--whether intentional or not--will have a consequence. God determines the merit and the consequence of the actions.

that's probably not any more clear, but on rereading, i thought my first post made no sense.

Tracy said...

Hi Sarah! Thanks for you comment on my blog! I'd love to meet you sometime. My husband and I have lived in Katy for just over a year. We love it here, and we definitely are still getting to know people. Thank you for your kind offer to photograph our family when the boys get home...so kind! I may just take you up on it!

@nicolewick said...

That is hysterical! I would have said something (I'm not sure what, but it wold have been really good) so I admire you're restraint.

On another note, why does the take out line at Pei Wei ALWAYS suck? Is it pre-penance for eating a bunch of fatty foods?

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