I hate traffic. It just makes my blood boil as I feel like I’m wasting my life. I know this is not a good perspective to have and God is still teaching me patience. A particular day a few weeks ago I pulled off at a Royal Farms before getting onto 95 because I had been sitting for two hours and decided to just take a break and eat. I got my $1 coffee, some snacks and looked for a seat. There were no open tables so I figured I should sit down and make a friend. I had brought a book with me, but clearly that was not what was in store for me that night. It’s funny how wisdom comes to us from unlikely sources and when we least expect it.
I was quickly reminded by a stranger that I’m lucky to be able to sit in traffic. He went on to share about his life and how he beat a brain tumor, a stroke, a heart attack and got out of jail only by the grace of God. There were days he sat in jail and watched the cars drive by, wishing he could be out there sitting in traffic.
He was eating fried chicken and potato wedges as we talked and I had to keep a straight face, even though the dietitian in me was cringing inside. He was the epitome of a noncompliant patient I would have seen last year for a five minute “nutrition education” as he was being wheeled out the door to go home after a second bypass surgery. He offered to share his Krispy Kreme donuts with me and insisted I have one.. he would not take no for an answer. This was a moment I had to take off my dietitian hat.
Coffee always seems to open doors for conversation and inspiration. I think it often provides more comfort than caffeine. As I sit here writing this post, I owe a lot of my energy level and motivation to a dirty chai latte from Starbucks.
We sat and talked for a while and he reminded me to stop stressing over little things and just live. He told me to be grateful for each day God gives you. I told him it’s easier said than done. He asked me why that was. He said, “It’s that simple, just live. ..Everyone gets to where they need to go eventually.”
In general, I struggle to be present each day or in the moment as I am always looking ahead to the next big thing. I look at Jesus and see how present he was with people and situations in his ministry and I strive to be more like that. This night was a good lesson in that. I became so engrossed in our conversation, that I forgot all about the traffic and lost track of time. When I finally returned to my car an hour or two later, I had several texts from people wondering if I was ok. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn from this man, and if it had not been for traffic which forced me to slow down or my newfound love of coffee, our paths probably would have never crossed.
Krispy Kremes can be a powerful thing. About a year ago, I was in DC with a friend, who wanted to get a Krispy Kreme donut when she saw the light- up sign turn on. She went on to inform me that it means the donuts are fresh out of the oven. I’m not a huge fan of glazed donuts or sweets but I got one for the sake of bonding. I ended up giving it to a homeless man later who was asking for money. I still don’t know if Karma is real, but there is some way that God works in the “pay it forward” movement. That night at Royal Farms I guess some of that kindness came back to me. A year after giving away my Krispy Kreme, I got another one and one for the road! I really believe that when we sacrifice and give, God somehow provides a way for you to bless you that much and more 🙂
I’ll end with two quotes, one from God and one from The Dalai Lama:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”-Galations 5:22-24
He said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”