Our eyes met and we nodded at each other.
“How are you?” They said as we passed each other on the sidewalk.
“Fine. How are you?”
I was walking the dog and they were walking out of a store.
Polite pleasantries exchanged, we both went on our way.
But, for me, it turned out to be one of those light bulb above my head moments.
It was a beautiful morning.
Late summer coolness.
Blue sky with just a few clouds.
The type of mornings I love.
As I continued my walk I decided the next time someone asked me “How are you today?” I was going to respond with something I was grateful for. A few minutes later I had a chance to practice. I passed a friend who also was out walking his dog.
“Paul, how are you?” he called from across the street.
“I am grateful for such a beautiful morning.” I responded.
“You bet.” He said.
I haven’t had a chance to try it again…yet.
For years Meister Eckhart’s reflection sat in front of me on my desk.
“If the only prayer you ever say is Thank you. It will suffice.”
If nothing else, the discipline of pausing for a heartbeat and naming what I am grateful for in the ordinary moments of my life instead of just responding with the obligatory “Fine” will be beneficial to me. An unplanned whispered prayer. And maybe, like what happened this morning, it will help another person to respond with their version of “You bet.”
One unplanned prayer becomes two.
Whether it is enough, I don’t know.
But two prayers are better than none.
And, gratitude changes lives.