Thoughts or new perspectives can come from unexpected places. Here are a few words of wisdom that came as I was "going through my day" the past few weeks.
The Kroger Parking Lot
During a recent rainy Saturday, I went to my favorite Kroger on the northside of Indianapolis. When I got out of the car, I noticed a Kroger employee gathering grocery carts scattered across the parking lot.
I walked by and said, "What happens when it rains and you are collecting carts?"
"I get the good Lord in my face," she replied with a big grin.
Now that's a new perspective! I dodged rain drops, pushed open my umbrella and rushed into the store.
John, the evening custodian at the church I attend, is a retired postal service employee who was part of a class I taught on prayer a few years ago. When I go to the church every Monday night to lead a support group, John is usually vacuuming the carpet. His positive, upbeat attitude is always refreshing.
One evening, I asked how he was doing and he replied, "Making things happen!"
"That's a great motivating phrase, " I replied, reflecting on how I can take the initiative to bring about good in the world.
Indiana University Hospital
Sue, the director of volunteer services at the hospital where I volunteer each Tuesday, is a former nurse. She managed a floor for many years before retiring and taking a part-time job with volunteer services.
Sue is full of wisdom gained from dealing with patients, families and hospital staff through the years.
When I finished my shift one day, I overheard her talking to a new volunteer, "Always manage up," she said.
She later explained when I asked about the phrase, "Always be positive and encouraging with people." Although she was referring to those she encountered in the hospital, her words can apply to any interaction.
Walking in the rain through the grocery store parking lot, talking with a custodian at church and listening to a former nurse - all unsuspecting places to glean new thoughts and insights in the marketplace of my life.
For Your Reflection
1. Be mindful of the places and people where you go each day. Listen to what you hear people saying, even though they may not be talking to you. What can you learn?
Prayer: God, thank you for people who spread your word with phrases that have come to them through their life experiences. Keep our ears and hearts open to receive what you want us to capture wherever we go. Amen.