The hymn in my mind this morning is "Eye has not Seen." As I read this morning, this is the theme. Acts of kindness are to be done in secret. Finding a connection to God in prayer is more powerful in quiet, still places: Matthew 6:6. Simple slogan but true: Don't toot your own horn. If you have to do this, then it's a moot point.
As a teacher, one of my favorite rules was rule number 11: Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness. I want to give thanks to Ron Clark for compiling the Essential 55 Classroom Rules. It made my rules in my classroom have more substance and clarity. I enjoyed the beginning of each school year modeling and teaching the rules of our new classroom family for each year. Rule #11 became second nature in our classroom and I think many incorporated it into their characters. I'll share one of the instances my students demonstrated rule #11. A student wanted to try out for the track team but didn't have the proper equipment. The next morning when the student opened their locker they had new shoes and track clothes. Instances like this were the norm and you can see how powerful they are. I could write a book about the kind acts I witnessed while teaching. Amazing and powerful love.
I read about three powerful phrases today. These phrases can make or break friendships and marriages. They should not be used sparingly but often. They teach you to be selfless not selfish. The phrases are please, thank you, and I'm sorry. Being a former teacher, I do use declarative, demanding statements a lot and forget the please will you part. I'm working on it! However, as my body has weakened, thank you flows freely from my mouth and almost unconsciously. I'm so dependent on my friends and loved ones and I'm amazed at their relentless love to make me happy. From planting flowers, watering plants, weeding gardens, keeping me hydrated and fed, putting me in and out of bed, to helping me with bathroom issues, they never back away from the challenge. So, I am so very thankful all of the time. Believe it or not, I am a bit salty on my pity party days. I'm grateful they are few and far between, but I have learned to take responsibility for my actions. I say sorry often when life gets to me and I snap. Knowing your part in the "drama" of life and owning up to it take gumption and maturity. I know some people who never achieve this milestone of growth. So, yes we are all in the wrong at times. Own it and embrace it.
Lastly, I remember the verse, "Our lives are but a single breath, we flower and we fade,
yet all our days are in your hands, so we return in love what love has made." It is so, so true. Life is fleeting. It's minuscule in the timeline of existence. It's a vapor. These things are what make it so precious. Today the challenge is to use your three phrases, do random acts of kindness, and spend some of time that you are given in a quiet still place.