Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise

pexels pixabay 415999“Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” Henri Nouwen

Sometimes, even when you’re not expecting good things to happen, they do anyway. And that makes life a lot better.

Here’s another tale from the road – when I was speaking in Las Vegas. It was one of those trips where everything that could have gone wrong, actually went right, and I’m feeling very grateful. Here’s what happened…

I flew Southwest out here and didn’t check in exactly on time, so I wasn’t happy with my seat number. Even though I was expecting to have a bad seat in the back, an aisle seat in the third row was waiting for me! I sat next to a very nice retired couple who was going home to Utah after a month’s vacation. We had a delightful conversation.

If you’ve ever flown with a sinus infection, you know how painful it can be. Well, I’m fighting a bit of a head cold right now and was afraid I was going to have that searing sinus headache while in the air for four hours. It didn’t’ happen. Aside from a few coughing jags, the sinus medicine worked and my head felt fine.

I took the cheap route and chose a very low-budget car rental company. After waiting in an extremely slow line for an hour, I was waited on by a delightful rental agent who gave me a Chrysler 300 with 5800 miles on it.  It’s a very nice ride that was worth the wait.

I called a friend at the last moment to see if we could get together while I’m in town. Turns out she was free for lunch and we had a delightful meal together.

Every step of the way, something could have gone wrong – an awful seat, a horrible headache, a lousy car, and dining alone – but it didn’t.

How often do you take the time to be grateful when things are going well? Do you pay attention when life is “peachy”? If not, a regular practice of gratitude will help. Consistently spending a couple of minutes each day in gratitude makes a difference. Try it for 30 days. Chances are good that you’ll like the changes you experience enough to keep the practice going.

PS – The friend I had lunch with was Robin Jay, the producer of the first movie I was in, The Keeper of the Keys.”  This snippet from the movie is special because the part where I talk about my dad was recorded two weeks after his stroke in 2011. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgU-PtimdHg&t=1s

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