It was almost six-thirty this morning when I climbed out of my car, tossed my keys in my purse as I flung it over my shoulder, picked up my tote out of the back seat, and reached in to grab my coffee cup before closing the car door. It was still dark and the morning air was cool, but the light sweater I wore was more than enough to keep me warm.
The short walk from my car to the office building where I spend so much of my day is a pleasant one. The campus where the office is located is surrounded by trees and green space; there is a large pond next to the office where geese make their home and the building itself is covered with ivy. I appreciate the serenity of the quiet walk every morning yet I still find myself walking quickly, my mind already on the day ahead of me.
This morning as I drew near to the office door and got ready to loop the handles of my tote bag over my arm so I could transfer my coffee to that hand allowing me to reach for the security badge attached to a lanyard around my neck, I heard a voice from behind me.
“I’ll get that door for you; you’ve got your hands full.”
I turned and saw a young man walking about twenty feet behind me; another early-riser who starts work before many others have even gotten out of bed. My first instinct was to brush off his offer of assistance.
“It’s okay, I’ve got it.” I had to choke back the words before they escaped from my mouth when I realized how rude it would have been for me to ignore is gesture.
I have done this throughout much of my life – refused assistance and insisted on my own self-reliance. It struck me for the first time this morning, how the independent demeanor I portray might be perceived as impolite and how many times I miss interacting with someone, however briefly, when I insist on relying on my on ability.
This morning I did something different.
“Thank you!” I smiled at the young man and then stepped aside and allowed him to use his security badge to unlock the door and pull it open for me.
I walked through the door, wished him a good day, and we both went our separate ways. To an onlooker it would have seemed like nothing, but in that moment I made a conscious decision to do something different, I deviated from the well-worn path I was used to taking, and allowed myself to act upon a prompting from within.
I believe that it is often in the small, seemingly insignificant, moments like this when God speaks to us, when we can feel the hand of God resting upon us, when we can learn the lessons He would have us learn.
It was a good way to start this day.