Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've been thinking about this great quote my friend  Nancie B. posted on facebook recently,

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' " - Mary Anne Radmacher

To encourage is to give courage, so that when you encourage someone you give them the courage to make their choices. Sometimes you can encourage someone without even realizing it. When you choose to live in the moment, every person that comes across your path is an opportunity for the spirit that resides in you to interact with their spirit. Sometimes you come away encouraged and sometimes you encourage them.

One day when I was working at the grocery store a lovely young woman stopped me and asked if I had a moment. She wanted to thank me for something I had said to her. Apparently she checked out through me about a year earlier. The person I took care of just before her was someone that I reached out to. I spent a few extra moments with this person, engaging them in conversation about their life. When I turned to this young woman, I smiled and apologized for taking the extra time and then I said, as I have said many times "You never know what battles the other person may be fighting." Then I asked how her day was as I checked out her groceries. Then I told her that she had a beautiful smile and that she should remember to smile, because God loves to see her smile.

The truth is, as she told me this story I had no memory of her. It sounded like something I would do and say,but this young woman and that specific conversation just were not in my memory. She went on to say that she had been having a difficult day, but that in reminding her to smile I helped her put things in perspective. She said she rarely shopped in our store because it wasn't near her house, but that seeing me again made her want to share with me that my seemingly off hand comments had made a difference in her life and she just wanted me to know that.

I thanked her for speaking to me, because I needed to know that something I said made a difference. We choose how we interact with others. We choose to be kind and cheerful, or to be diffident and aloof, but whatever our choice we do not make it alone. I believe that there is in all of us a space that can only be filled by the Spirit of God. So we always have access to that Spirit. As people of faith we know God as that in which we live and move and have our being. So if we have access the the Spirit of God we have help in keeping our choices for our good. If our choices in how we interact with each other, are for our good, then they will be for the good of those we come across in our day to day experiences.

If a grocery cashier can remind a young woman that life is good by treating customers with respect and caring, then it doesn't take a lot of effort to encourage someone, and if we can do that they might find the strength to try again tomorrow. Just a little effort makes a big difference. If we commit to focusing on what is good in ourselves we will be able to share that with others. God is within us and all around us, and we need to remind ourselves of that.

We  need to take the opportunity this winter season gives us to find the good in ourselves. The good of who am I, why am I, where am I going can be found in just being. When we are being true to ourselves and our God we will choose to be in the moment with everyone we meet, and in doing so we can encourage them so that they can get quiet and hear that small voice that helps them to know that they can try again tomorrow.

Peace and Blessings,

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