Today I’m going to take a break from the mind trip and focus on positive lessons you can find in everyday events if you try to keep an open mind. In order to do this, I would like to share a short story I wrote at the beginning of October 2016. Before I begin, I want to say that I won’t claim to be a religious fanatic who goes to church every Sunday, but I am a very spiritual person. I pray and meditate almost daily. That is a part of who I am, but sometimes I use different words to describe God, the Universe, etc. because of my eclectic ways of thinking.
My husband and I had just taken a trip to our favorite little town, but for some reason could not stop arguing and pushing each other’s buttons unintentionally. The hour and a half trip started out smoothly, but for some reason took a wrong turn on the way back. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure now why we were arguing, and that really isn’t relevant to the story.
We got home and immediately kept pointing fingers at each other to the point of having to walk away from the situation. I have gotten better at doing this when we decide to get a little stubborn about our opinions. If one of us keeps going and doesn’t walk away then the argument carries on and turns into a meaningless war. I’m usually the guilty one of not walking away to calm down, but I have gotten a lot better at controlling my emotions. However, I was having a little more trouble today than usual, so I finally decided that I needed to go to the store for some water.
As I pulled up to the store, I was consumed with the mixture of emotions most couples get when they argue…a little bit of anger, disappointment, sadness, hurt, etc… On the way, I had asked God why I was here when I had so much trouble connecting deeply with others. When I realized that I was being negative in my thoughts, I turned them around and uttered, “Lord, thank you! Thank you for life!”
I got out of the car deep in thought and probably looking a little annoyed. As I shut the door to my vehicle and turned around to walk into the grocery store, I saw an old man lean over his white, beat-up station wagon and say something to his dog, pat his head, and stand up. As I was approaching the area he was standing, he smiled at me kindly with a semi-toothless grin and announced his euphoria with a big heavy “Good morning!”
Suddenly, my mood changed. I smiled back at him and uttered, “Good morning!”
He giggled in a sweet, child-like way and stated, “Well, at least I got you to smile!”
I looked back at him as I was rushing into the store, slowed down a little, and stated, “I’m just really having an off day today.”
I hate saying bad day anymore because even though I can’t control how I feel, I can control how I think and react to the situation. I am obviously working overtime on this thought process because of how I grew up. I recently found out I have post-traumatic stress disorder. Most people identify this with people from the military, but it is common in people who have had a history of abuse as well. I experienced sexual, emotional or psychological, and later physical abuse; however, I had no clue until about three years ago that I have PTSD.
Anyway, this sincere, caring older gentleman finally caught up to me and lightly put his hand on my shoulder and asked, “Do you believe in God?”
I instantly knew God had answered my prayers and stated, without a shadow of a doubt, “Yes, I do!”
He looked and me gently with a twinkle in his eyes and said, “Do you know what I always do when I have a day like that?”
I looked at him earnestly as we walked into the store and asked, “What?” Because by that time, I was all ears. I knew God was sending me a message.
He declared proudly, “I say, ‘Lord, how will you help me fix this challenge today?’”
I looked at him not quite letting it sink into my brain at the moment, but thanked him and started walking towards the water. As I lifted two water jugs off the shelf and started walking towards the checkout stand, I pondered what the man said. Then, suddenly, I had to walk down the aisles to get my tears dried because I understood finally what God was trying to tell me.
I wiped my tears and finally calmed down in order to buy my water. As I left the checkout stand, the checker sniffled, “Have a nice day.”
I looked over and suddenly noticed her eyes were red and she seemed to have that sick-like look to her. I asked, “Are you sick? You don’t seem like you feel well.” She stated that here allergies were acting up today because of the wind. I told her, “I hope you feel better soon!”
She thanked me, and as I walked out the old man was still standing in the front as if he was waiting to talk to me again. I walked towards the door to leave the store, and he asked me, “Do you know why angels have wings?” I shook my head. “Because they’re so light!”
I laughed just because I thought it was a cute, but very corny joke. In spite of this, I saw this old, semi-toothless man how the Lord sees all his creations. I saw beauty in all his flaws, and I genuinely felt connected to this old man is some strange way. I had never met him before in my life, but I know because my frequency and attitude have changed about life I was noticed by this man. I stood out to him, and his interaction with me was a blessing from God in all His mysterious and confusing ways. I wholeheartedly thanked the man for taking the time to talk to me again as left the store and cried happily all the way home embellishing in the greatness of the Lord and all He has taught me in my lifetime and more so in this past year.
I thank God for the lesson he taught me today. Not only did God teach me that one person can make a difference in someone’s life and we are all inter-related, but he also taught me to ask Him for help. God wants us to lean on him.
Copyright © 2017 [Carrie Pottberg]. All Rights Reserved.