Monday, April 26, 2010

A Tap on the Shoulder

“The bad things in life open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before” ~ Author unknown

Yesterday was an average day – or at least that’s how it appeared at first. Nothing incredibly important or transcendental happened, one way or the other; no tragedies nor mind-blowing fortunes knocked on my door.

However, on second thought, yesterday was a wonderful day, although I wasn’t aware of just how blessed until about six in the evening, when I sat on my porch sipping a glass of iced tea and watched my daughter play in the yard.

Out in the distance I heard a siren; then two; finally one more – something serious had happened not too far from my house. I immediately said a small prayer for whoever was involved in the accident, and felt profoundly grateful that my whole family was home and I didn’t have to wonder about their safety.

Right then I realized that many unpleasant things happening around us are an opportunity to stop the madness and focus a moment of our day on gratitude and compassion. We are fast in prayer if something goes wrong in our lives - or if we are in need - but how often do we take a moment to just acknowledge what we have, and be grateful for the things and people we take for granted?

Gratitude and compassion walk hand in hand, and both are great reminders that we should appreciate our lives for what they are, and enjoy what we have.

Divine reminders come in different packages – the sound of distant emergency vehicles, a homeless person seeking a little change and a ray of hope, a lonely person craving a smile or a kind word – through each of them, God taps on our shoulder. We are always in such a rush that we easily overlook the incredible fortunes pouring down on us throughout each day; once we slow down and take notice, we realize the staggering amount of reasons we have to be grateful.

We spend countless hours of our lives telling others they should pay attention -- sometimes it would be good to talk in front of a mirror.