Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Gift of Today is What You Make of It

In this part of the country, we pump our own gas - and most of us go through a love/hate relationship with this fact.  

When you are in a hurry, it always seems like gas station attendants are in slow motion.  Or there is only one attendant for 12 cars.  

On other days, when it is icy cold or brutally hot, you are thankful all you have to do is crack your window enough to pass payment through.

But love it or hate it, most of us can agree on two things:

One, the attendants are either cranky, silent, or moving so fast you couldn't pick them out of a lineup of two people.   And two, thanks to the brutal climates you must work in, and the thankless customers you serve, it would not be on our top ten list of job choices.

Now that I have set the stage, let's rewind to earlier in the week...

It was a blustery winter day - below 20 degrees fahrenheit with 20 mph gusty winds.  I pulled into the local gas station to fill up, cracked my window 3 cm so I could tell the attendant to fill it up without losing precious heat from my car, and was greeted by a cheery "How you'all doing today?".   

"Fine, thanks," I said, still in shock I had received anything more than a confirming nod.  

When my fillup was complete, I rolled down my window - this time almost half way - to get my receipt.  

"Hey," the attendant bellowed at me, "did you see the two antennas that got married?"

"Ummm, no," I said politely, still not sure what to make of this unheard-of banter.

"Me neither, but I heard the reception was unbelievable!!"   And with a Santa Claus-like laugh, he wished me a great day and hurried off to the next customer.  

I sat there for a moment and took in what had just happened.

Here was this guy, doing a monotonous, unenvious job in the brutal cold, and he was happier than just about anyone else I met that day.  Not only was he clearly enjoying HIS day, but he made sure he made MINE a better one too.

In fact, those 5 minutes echoed through my whole week.  

I reflected on how many days, or parts of days, I wasted by not enjoying every minute of them for the gift they are.  I also reflected on all the opportunities I could have made someone else's day, and let it pass us both by.  

I hope you are having a Blessed Lent.


Unknown said...

Now there is a man who knows how to live in the present moment! Your reflection also shows that a little kindness can go a long way.
Thanks for sharing the story, Michael and God bless.

Mary N. said...

When someone stands out from the pack we remember them, don't we? I've run across people like the one in your story and I always think about them after. As Catholics, we should stand out from the pack too. Thanks, Michael!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Isn't it wonderful when we meet cheerful happy people like the one you describe?

The ones at my supermarket are so miserable they'd make a funeral look like Happy Hour!

God bless.