Each day is a blessing
of epic proportions.
I give thanks for
what might seem meager comforts:
real cream in my coffee,
a day without a bill in the mail,
Paso Doble, the Spanish two-step.
Sometimes life is a dance
a woman has to do backwards
pushing against the wind
and obstacles in the way.
Thank You for being the partner
who always leads.

-Ruth Williams

Carmen was ticked off, and she earned it, illness, delinquent child, drunken husband, and unemployment. You name it, if it’s bad, it happens to Carmen.

She wasn’t coping well. One of Carmen’s methods to address her misfortune was to talk to God. Her conversations went something like this, “Please God, cure my cancer and I’ll believe in you.” Conditional belief. Ask and receive; God is good. No response; proof positive— there is no God.

Everything changed at a funeral mass. The priest delivered a message that got through to her. With the death of her good friend, came the birth of a new awareness. She finally understood; times of trouble are when faith in God needs to be strongest.

God doesn’t need to be bargained with, debated, or even questioned. Carmen learned to love God unconditionally, and to believe in the goodness of God, unconditionally.

Life is never on our terms. There is a much grander plan for us than we can see while here on Earth. Believe, and you will know the wisdom of God’s work. Believe and you will see the miracle of God’s creation.

A young man was a slow worker and found it difficult to hold down a job. After a visit to the employment office, he was offered work at the local zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper, aware of his reputation, told him to take care of the tortoise section.

Later, the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing and found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open.

“Where are the tortoises?” he asked.

“I can’t believe it,” said the new employee, “I just opened the door and whooooosh, they were gone!”

A lot happens in twenty-four hours. Babies are born, healing happens and somewhere, two people fall in love.

Think about the past twenty-four hours in your own life. Have you felt joy, did you laugh, have you recognized God’s miracles?

It’s our responsibility to be happy and to bring happiness to others. So how come I was downright rude to the barrista who screwed up my coffee order this morning?

Author Joseph Telushkin challenges people he meets, to go for twenty-four hours without saying anything unkind about or to anyone. He says people laugh nervously at his suggestion and he tells them;

“Then you have a serious problem, because if I were to ask you to go for twenty-four hours without any alcohol, and you said you couldn’t, that would mean you’re an alcoholic. And if you couldn’t go twenty-four hours without smoking a cigarette, that would mean you were addicted to nicotine. And if you can’t go for twenty-four hours without speaking unkindly about or to another, that means you’ve lost control over your mouth, and regaining such control will require vigilance.”

Try it. Note the time and get started. Tomorrow, twenty-four hours from now, reflect on the challenge and notice how speaking kindly, brings you kindness.

Share with us how you did and take the poll to see how you compared with others. Go— and speak kindly.

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