... in opportunities to say thank you

Published on 24 Nov 2020
woman running

A few years ago I was shoved while walking along a bridge in London by a jogger who had decided that they had the right of way. I started running a few months ago, and I was determined, as a result of that experience, to try not to get frustrated when people walked in front of my running route.

Apart from anything else, how enormously stressful you make the experience, if - running on a busy path - you get annoyed every time you have to swerve to avoid a child, a slower walker, a person with a pram, or a dog. 

My patience has occasionally been tested, of course, but I have continued to reason with myself that there's no 'right of way' on these paths, so if there is someone or something in my way, it's up to me to swerve around them or if needs be, simply say 'excuse me'. In fact, one of the nicer aspects of running as I realised this week was the fact I had the opportunity to say 'thank you' or smile to all the people who took care to move to one side on the path. So my half hour or so of running is punctuated by me saying thank you, and genuinely, that experience makes me feel more grateful. 

I also get to be thanked on other days, when it is my turn to move aside for someone else who's running when I am walking, or a cyclist on their route. 2020 has rather reduced our opportunities to encounter people, but I think it has rather increased these kind of small encounters. 

The two sided coin of thanking or being thanked seems to be a reminder from God that each of us could be in another person's shoes, on a different day of the week, at another time in our lives, or if our lives were different. We could all do well to remember this.