Need Food for Thought? Chew on this!

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

* "Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder" is a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here and in our Etsy shop!

*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!


As I pull into the grocery store parking lot, I deftly maneuver around a shopping cart that is obviously stranded. It’s a good thing I saw it before I made my turn into that parking space, I shook my head to myself in annoyance, or my car would have collected one more battle scar to reduce the old trade in value. Once I park in an open parking spot, I leave my car to briskly stride to the abandoned cart, grab it, and push it swiftly into the opened arms of the cart return area.

Man, I don’t have time for this today. I’m really pushing it to make it to work on time as it is now! Can’t people put their own carts away? I just don’t get it. It only takes an extra couple of seconds. Maybe they didn’t have a couple of seconds…I know I don’t have a couple of seconds, but here I am using them anyway.

My head shakes side to side in disgust while I make my way through the parking lot. Trash here, trash there, trash is everywhere! My eyes roam the parking lot until they spot not one, not two, but four different trash cans in easy to access locations. I begin to stoop down and snatch up trash as I head to the front entrance of the store. I certainly can’t clean the whole parking lot, I think to myself while stuffing the trash into the trash bin right outside the entrance, but I can pick up what I can along the way.

Making quick work of my short grocery list, I speed up and down the aisles and finally to the checkout register. Just as I put my basket on the belt, I notice another customer walking hurriedly to the same checkout lane. She only has one item in her hand and a pained expression colors her face once she realizes I’ll be in front of her.

As she settles in restlessly behind me, I turn and smile, motioning for her to go ahead of me. Curiosity and surprise replace the dread on her face, and she asks, “Are you sure?”

“Absolutely,” I nod. “You only have one item. Please, go ahead.”

The tenseness stiffening her body softens. “Oh, thank you so much!” She skirts around me and places her item on the belt. “I’m already running a little late, so this is amazing. Thank you!”

I nod again, grimacing inwardly at my own predicament as I listen to I the tick-tock reverberate through my head as it inching closer to 8:00 am.

* * * * *

After zooming into the first parking spot I see, I hurriedly pull the keys from the ignition and jump out of my car, sprinting to the employee entrance of my office building. Looking at the clock right above the entrance way, I note that I have seven minutes to get some coffee, hit the restroom, and make it to my cubicle to clock in before getting docked thirty minutes of pay. Flinging the door open, and very thankful no one was behind me so I didn’t have to hold the door open for them, I rush inside.

Once in the break room, I grab a clean coffee cup from the drying rack and quickly pour myself a cup of coffee, careful not to slosh it everywhere in my haste, until the last drop of coffee plops into my cup. Crap, I huff to myself, I got the last cup! I can’t leave the pot empty! Argh, I don’t have time for this! I quickly remove the old filter, throw it in the trash can, grab a new filter and coffee packet from the supply drawer, stuff the filter in the reservoir, rip open the coffee packet and pour into the filtered reservoir, shove the reservoir into place, and hit the brew button. Less than twenty seconds! That must be a world record for this machine.

Setting my coffee cup on the break room table, I head to the restroom for a much needed pit stop. As soon I finish with the call of nature, I reach for some toilet paper and unroll the last little bit of tissue. I groan in frustration. I’ve got to go, but I can’t just leave an empty roll here. I mean, I guess I could, but no, no, I can’t do that. If it was me who came in next and realized there was no toilet paper just when I was finishing up and had to jump up off the seat and bunny hop over to the supply cabinet to get some more, I’d be extremely frustrated.

I immediately spin to grab a new roll of toilet paper, tear it open, pull the old roll off, and slip the new roll on. Rapidly washing my hands, I stare into the mirror and shake my head. What a morning. I leave the restroom to step back into the break room to grab my coffee. Glancing up at the clock, my stomach lurches. Crap…it’s 8:01 am. Man, that bites. Well, I might as well just take my time now. Whether I make it to my desk at 8:02 am or 8:15 am, I still get docked thirty minutes pay.

Strolling down the hall in irritation over what caused me to be late, something white on the floor catches my eye. Stooping down to pick it up, I notice it’s a page from a book, more specifically a devotional. After scanning its contents, I can’t help but smile to myself. I believe they call this synchronicity, I think in amusement.

The title to this devotion was “Nobody Need Wait a Single Moment Before Starting to Improve the World.” The devotion began by asking the reader to seize the opportunities that come their way each day to make a difference. It went on to say that many times we think making a difference in the world must be some kind of monumental or earth shattering event to impact hundreds or thousands. It read that making a difference doesn’t have to be something big because it is all about recognizing the moment. It can be anything that creates a positive M-O-M, moment of magic, instead of a negative M-O-M, moment of misery.

Hmmm, I actually did that today! I think in satisfaction. I possibly saved a dent in someone’s car, slightly reduced the parking lot’s litter decoration, reduced stress for another shopper, thought of the next person coming through for a cup of coffee, and was considerate of the next person’s appointed time with Charmin. I did do it! I actually seized many moments.

The devotion went on to challenge its readers to capture the moments in each day to make someone smile or laugh, and to be a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. It concluded by stating the greatest gift anyone can give another is their attention. I smile, all irritation leaving my body. Honestly, I’m actually proud of myself, even though I did growl several times as I was seizing each of the moments I encountered on my way to work this morning.

The moral of this devotion is so great, I’m going to tape it in my cubicle so I can look at it every day. It reads…

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*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!

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