I was standing in the check out line the other day. I was in my little “Dee” world. You know the one, I was in a hurry; places to be, things to do. I was doing the mental checklist of what I had been able to accomplish and what I had to rush off to get completed before the time I had allotted got away from me. The check-out girl was chatting away and I was smiling and nodding but really, I wasn’t there. I was away with my thoughts.
An elderly lady walk up behind me in the line. Suddenly, I heard, “Put her groceries on your bill.”
It snapped me back to the moment and I said, “what?” The two women gave me dumb-founded looks. They had not spoken. The elderly lady walked away to grab another item and I looked at the check-out girl and said, “ok, let’s do it, put her groceries on my bill. I will pay for them.”
Needless to say, both women were overwhelmed. The elderly lady teared up and when she got over the shock of what happened, she was elated. She couldn’t believe her good fortune and began to say, “No one has ever done anything like this for me in all my life. This made my day.”
I walked out feeling like I was on top of the world. The cost for me was so minimal -much less than I would like to do.
I have a dream. I want to make a difference in the world. I have this idea of how that will come to be. The idea is so big that sometimes getting to that idea seems too far away from what my heart would like to do today.
That day, I realized that although I do make attempts when I can to emulate that dream…Most of the time, I am waiting for the “one day” when I can fully put that dream into motion.
I think I look longing to the future and forget that this moment is the one I have been given to live.
In this day, this moment, before me, are differing opportunities in the form of relationships. Some, I do not know personally- like the lady in the grocery store.
Others have included reconnecting to friends from years past. Catching up. Sharing. Lending a listening ear. Sometimes sharing an experience that may benefit their situation.
I have work relationships.
I have family.
There is a full world of opportunity right in my own back yard.
Those relationships are important; who we are with each other, what we say…how we show up! It matters.
The other day in the grocery store, I did not “show up” in a way that would lend true value to the people right in front of me…at least not until I heard within my heart to reach out and help.
It would seem easy to get on a plane and go to the other side of the world to a need-filled country and lend a hand. This feels like an important way to make a difference. Easier, in fact, than working in my own back yard.
My own backyard (my world) is full of hearts that are broken where difficult conversations need to be had and prickly issues need to be addressed.
Having those difficult conversations may not be as easy as acts of kindness to a stranger or feel as grandiose as feeding the hungry in a foreign country.
But by having those difficult conversations, dealing with those prickly issues, and clearing the air- miracles happen.
We all have difficulties in relationships from time to time. We offend someone because we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We punish a work colleague because they were recognized for a job well done and we weren’t. The neighbour drives us crazy. Family relationships become strained. Someone needs an apology or an explanation to help their wounded heart move on. Or a stranger is longing to know that their existence means something to someone but no one speaks up with confirmation.
Those relationships are the very ones that have been placed in our world and if we recognize the opportunity -we can make a difference.
Why wait for a future time to do something more important?
Why not look at what is right in front of us today and make miracles happen.
Maybe those miracles will seem insignificant to you and me but for the person for whom the miracle occurs…it could be life changing.
Show up to the relationships in your life in a meaningful way.
Clear the air, if it is necessary, so that you and the that significant person can journey together with joy in your hearts instead of pain.