It is a Monday morning, not even 10 am, and I am finding myself in need of a pep talk.

I woke up early today to go for a walk before work.  Ear buds in place and music turned up I began my walk on the trail.  Preoccupied with my thoughts of my youngest son starting his senior year of college and my daughter starting her senior year of high school.  My heart burdened by the senseless shootings that took place this past weekend in my country.  I began to pray and walk.  I thought I heard a voice and as the cyclist was approaching my side, I quickly moved over to accommodate him.  Much to my surprise, he hopped off his bike and began screaming at me to MOVE OVER.  He berated me and cussed at me before jumping back on his bike an pedaled away as he was nodding his head in disgust that I would be walking closer to his side of the trail than mine.

I then decide on my way to work to stop at the grocery store and pick up some items for my lunch.  There is road construction so I inadvertently turn and drive against the arrow pointing us to park.  My mistake as well as the car in front of me and the three others behind me.  We all encounter the wrath of a very frustrated driver who honks her horn, rolls down her window and proceeds to scream at all of us for being idiots.

I decide a large coffee is in order at this point and stand in line to order when the young mom in front of me who is juggling 2 little kids spills her iced coffee macchiato all over my sandals and feet.  I then have a choice don’t I?  I chose to laugh and to tell her it was no big deal as we both worked together to clean up the mess.  This prompted the man behind us to pay for both of our drinks and thank me for not treating her like I was treated in the parking lot. He was part of the wrong way driving escapade too. We all had a good laugh and wished each other a great day.

Choices…  Sometimes we are aggravated by what others do and sometimes we are the one who is aggravating.  Today I am determined to choose grace and gratitude.  All the minor issues I described for you are nothing compared to others in the world who would love the freedom to walk without fear in their neighborhoods, to have a working automobile and to have the funds to purchase coffee.  I spend my days working for a global ministry so I am well aware of the fact that these are minor in the macro of our world. Even with that lens I found myself sad and a bit annoyed.

My encouragement to you and to me today is this  –   choose the joy and choose the grace.  It is always worth it even when it is hard and who knows, maybe sometimes you might even be treated to a cup of coffee.

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