I am not a people person. It isn't that I dislike people (in general). I actually really enjoy most of our customers. It's just that being around a lot of people wipes me out. And yet, I have a job in customer service. I work at our local gas station. Thankfully, most of my shifts are only 5 hours long... but even with that short of a shift, I am emotionally exhausted by the time I get home simply because of having to socialize for that long.
But the other day, I had a particularly wonderful day with people. It was several little things that lifted my spirits and emotions instead of draining them.
I got an unexpected ride to work when he saw me out walking. He was heading to the gas station anyway. I had one man and his son come in for coffee - and they had to wait as I made a fresh pot. The man called me shortly after they left the store simply to thank me for making them fresh coffee. I had an elderly couple pull up who pretty much coasted in on fumes, and the woman jumped out of the car and gave me a hug and thanked me for having gas available.
Several other things happened that day as well, all just little gestures. All just small, seemingly insignificant things. And yet each event put a smile on face.
So often we get wrapped up in our own lives. We want things a certain way. We worry about what's next on our to-do list. We worry about the next stop on our journey. We worry about making sure we get our coffee or food or other necessity. We don't stop for 5 seconds to thank those who've made any of that possible. We don't stop to recognize that with just one small action, we can truly make someone else' day better.
Maybe it's just a smile and genuine "have a great day!" Maybe it's a quick phone call to say thank you to someone. Maybe it's to give someone a pat on the back, or a hug, for no reason. Maybe it's stopping to offer a ride to someone. Maybe it's to give that kid in front of you in the checkout line, the one who's 27 cents short of paying for his snack, a little pocket change.
Today's Lenten sacrifice:
Stop focusing on "me" so much
Take yourself out of that "I have to do this and go here and..." zone for just 10 seconds. Use that 10 seconds to thank someone, or hug them, or even just give them a genuine smile. You have the power to make someone smile. You have the power to help someone you may not even realize is down or depressed or hurting or just having a bad day. Every little thing you do has the power to lift someone up (or drag them down). God has given each of us this ability, and we should all be using that gift as often as possible. Just a simple "thank you" to a stranger is showing God's love.