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Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  

It started out a fairly ordinary Saturday. The sun was shining for a change and I had managed to get out the door reasonably early to go grocery shopping.  As I stepped outside I inhaled the already warm morning air as the sweet scent of blossoms filled my nostrils. In my car I slipped on a soothing cd and headed onto the highway in a near blissful state. Which of course lasted about ten seconds after my rubber hit the road. As I attempted to merge onto the freeway a car moved into my lane and I had the choice to either hit the brakes or hit him. Deep breath. Nothing bad happened. My car and I arrived unscathed at the shopping centre and I located a parking spot. Well, it looked like a parking spot. There was a person standing smack dab in the middle of it, rummaging through her purse, completely unaware that I was waiting patiently to park my car. I was patient - honest! She had her back to me, so she did not see me. She apparently had a hearing problem too because she didn’t hear my engine. As my engine and I grumbled, she eventually moved and I parked. Deep breath. Nothing bad happened.  Continuing on with my shopping I now found myself being stalked by the same person from the parking space; well, not really, but is seemed that way. While grocery shopping, her buggy seemed to block each aisle as she abandoned it to wander off and shop elsewhere. I was trying awfully hard to stay calm but my teeth were beginning to ache from all the jaw clenching.  Deep breath. It’s just a buggy. Grrrr. Deep breathing is not working this time. I ploughed on with my shopping, short tempered and tense.  By the time I hit the fruit and veggies I was so frustrated I dropped a bag of oranges on the floor. As I bent down to pick them up I bumped heads with a young girl who had reached down at the same time to help me. As we came up “ow-ing” and laughing, I felt the tension begin to drain. Amazing what a just little laughter can do.  Further into my shopping I was unable to reach an item on the top shelf and a tall young man passing by grabbed the box for me. I thanked him and now the smile was back on my face. By the time I reached the check out line, the same lady who had instigated my frustration was heading for the SAME counter. She didn’t have as much shopping as I did, so I slowed and allowed her to get in front of me and she was so grateful that she chatted as she unloaded not only her groceries but also her burdens. Turned out she had had a terrible morning and her mind wasn’t on what she was doing.  As she poured out her story to me, a stranger in the check out line, I became aware once again of the amazing way God works to shape our lives. He had used the two young people in the store to soften my heart and prepare it to listen to the outpouring of a stranger.  I was humbled.  I was also enlightened to the amazing subtle ways God can work when he needs your heart in the right place – if you can call a bump on the head subtle! God places you where he wants you to be, when he needs you to be there. Sometimes you have to go looking for the rose bush before you can stop and smell the roses, but if you look with the Lord in your heart, he will always plant one in your path.  Pay attention to the little things.  

1 Corinthians 7:17 . . . . . Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.  

'Til next time.