This is a true story.
While my son took a piano lesson one day recently, I was walking rather briskly for exercise here:
This is the driveway that leads up to the piano teacher’s house. It winds through their pasture for about a quarter of a mile, curving by a lovely pond, and stopping just about at their front door, where I park. Sometimes when weather allows, I walk from the car to the gate and back, enjoying the pond and the cows and the country air.
About 20 minutes into my walk, I had an energy burst, and the puffing and feeling out of shape of the first few minutes gave way to cheerful thoughts and a can-do spirit. I was bouncing along with a smile, breathing deeply. Just for fun, I did a few ballet moves as I walked along, since you dance while nobody’s watching and all. Suddenly, I stumbled, and almost righted myself, but eventually accepted my fate as I realized I was going to fall. After the tumbling and rolling stopped, I was lying face down with gravel in my teeth. I turned my head with difficulty, blinked to clear my vision, and this was my view:
But, joy of all joys: THIS is what I saw, between me and the pond, and only inches away from my face:
(For those of you who are not from Podunk, Texas, this is a cow patty.)
Still lying on my stomach, staring sideways at that pond…still grunting in pain and spitting gravel and everything, I prayed this prayer out loud:
“Thank you God, that I missed the cow patty.”
Fortunately, no one saw a thing. And I was fairly put together and back in the car by the time my son came bounding out after his piano lesson. He did notice my ragged appearance as we drove back by the pond on our way out. And when I mentioned missing a cow patty (nothing more), he put it all together and laughed the rest of the way home. Actually, we laughed together.
Sometimes our daily walk involves a tumble or two. But we can still practice being thankful, can’t we? After all, it could always be worse.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:2-3, NKJV
Tapping out the Gratitude List helps me see past the bruises of life:
#977: Homemade Scottish shortbread. #978: Hot English breakfast tea in a yield-sign yellow, retro cup. #979: Paul and Lacy for the weekend. #980: Books that float you overseas, just like you were there. #981: Cody’s math answer. #982: Filmy curtains puffing inward from open windows. #983: Hope’s visit. #984: My glasses weren’t broken. #985: Old movies. #986: Homemade kettle corn. #987: Casey’s photo texts. #988: Being back on the budget. #989: Our piano teacher. #990: Ansley’s phone call. #991: Beautiful, country ponds.