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Living in a distracted state

David Epps's picture

It had been a busy morning and an even busier week and there was a great deal to think about last Friday. In the meantime, I decided to take a break and go to the supermarket to pick up a few things needed for the evening meal. So it was that I traveled to the Publix at Thomas Crossroads near Newnan.

It wasn’t long before I became frustrated. “Why can’t they leave things well enough alone?” I thought. About the time I know where everything is, someone decides to remodel the store and everything gets relocated.

The milk was at the opposite end of where I was accustomed to finding it—so was the meat. Then it took forever to locate the condiments.

I ran into a lady from our church and voiced my frustration. She patiently listened and, I think, felt sympathy for me.

As I was making my way to the check out area, something looked disturbingly familiar. This was not the Publix with which I was familiar. In fact, it wasn’t Publix at all. I had, in my distracted state, wandered into Kroger.

No wonder nothing was where I expected to find it. I tried to find the lady from the church and explain that I was, apparently, an idiot. She was, however, already gone. Maybe she already knows.

My mom would sometimes forget where she parked her car at the supermarket and, each time she did that, she would worry about getting senile. I don’t think she ever went into the wrong store and didn’t realize it until she saw the big “Kroger” sign on the wall. That distinction belongs to me.

It’s not the first time I went somewhere I didn’t mean to. Once at the supermarket (this time I meant to be in Kroger) I came out of the store and got into my car. The key, for some reason, didn’t work and the car simply wouldn’t start.

At the height of my frustration, I happened to look into the rear view mirror and see a child’s car seat in the back of the car. We didn’t have small children at the time and didn’t own a child’s car seat.

I was in a gray Camry all right — and it was parked right next to mine. People need to lock their cars.

For over 13 years, I was the pastor of a certain church. Six months after I left that church and was the pastor of another church, I left my house one Sunday and drove right past my church and went directly to my old church and slid right into my old parking space.

It was only when I started to get out of the car that I realized I was at the wrong church and was in the new pastor’s parking space.

I’d like to think that I am super intelligent and am “eccentric.” When I do something like this I think that I am probably just dumb.

The truth is I am neither super smart nor stupid — I’m probably just not thinking.

It is likely that I have so much on my mind that, in my distraction, I go on automatic and fall into the wrong pattern. At least that’s the story I’m sticking to.
Well, it’s late and time for bed. Hopefully I am in the right house and am headed to the right bed. If not, there will be another story to tell.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. ( He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese ( may be contacted at]

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