The Difference

Have you noticed how it’s not the big things that trip us up, but the little things such as waiting in line or encountering other unwelcomed time-consuming events? The other day I hurriedly starting transferring a load of sweats and dark socks from the washer to the dryer only to discover – you guessed it – the clothes were speckled with remnants of tissues I had forgotten to remove from my pocket.

My immediate thoughts, among others were, “I don’t have time for this! What a waste of time!” Then in a moment I can only describe as grace-filled, the phrase “gratitude attitude” flashed through my mind. So I took a deep breath and said, “OK Lord, what’s to be grateful for in this here-and-now?”

It certainly wasn’t for the “snow” on my clothes.   What about gratitude for having clothes – “Thank you Lord.” Gratitude for a washer in my home – “Thank you Lord.” Gratitude for running water, for laundry soap, for a dryer that works – “Thank you Lord.”

I continued removing the flecks that had resisted being shaken off. By the time the clothes were ready for the dryer, I felt calm, re-centered, and surprised at how quickly I had finished. What a tangible difference it made to do what had to be done - not with frustrated thoughts of “I don’t have time for this” - but with my heart focused in gratitude for what I did have at that present moment.

Will I remember to do this the next time I’m faced with a “time inconvenience?” I hope so. I intend to (along with remembering to re-check pockets!)

Blessings as you face your own “time inconveniences” - your own opportunities to practice the “gratitude attitude.” Perhaps this well-known prayer can serve as a guidepost for you in that regard: “Lord, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.” – Jackie F.