Keep the big picture in mind

Published 7:54 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

One eye peeped open when my cellphone dinged. It was still dark outside, and Missy had not yet jumped on the edge of my bed wanting to go out. My foggy brain wondered who was disturbing my beauty sleep this morning.

I almost slipped into the land of dreams once more, but curiosity got the best of me. My hand fumbled for my phone as my mind woke up enough to unlock it. My trucker husband, Mike, had left me a text.

“Good morning, sweetheart. It looks like I will have a layover for one night in the area? Do you want to get a room somewhere and go out tonight?”

Now that sounded like a great idea! Plans began to form in my mind of where we could go and what we could do. Gatlinburg would be fun, I thought. It is only a few miles away, and we had never been to the “Sweet Family Adams Theatre.” I had been wanting to go since a visitor at the B&B had such a great time there.

I quickly texted back.

“Sounds great. Does Gatlinburg sound like fun to you? Can’t wait to see you!”

“Sure sweetie, let me know when you come up with a plan. I’ll call you when I get closer. I am dropping a load of auto parts in Morristown right now, but it shouldn’t take me long.”

Almost as soon as I began to make plans for our evening the thought occurred to me. “It’s Monday night and Aidan has a football game. I’ll bet it would mean a lot to him for his Pop to watch him play football.”

Mike is such a kindhearted and easygoing fellow. I knew he had not thought of the football game and would be happy to attend. The problem was not with Mike; it was with me. I had been to several games and really wanted to have a date night in Gatlinburg.

Aidan’s dad lives several states away and never gets to watch his games. Mike and I will have lots of date nights, but Aidan’s football career won’t last forever. After a little soul searching my heart led me to the right decision. I called Mike and he heartily agreed that the game was where we wanted to be.

What if we all woke up on the same morning and made a conscious decision to put others needs before our own? What if it felt so good to be truly unselfish that we tried it another day and another? The evening news would be suitable for children if one day we all decided to live this way.

I believe that each of us could make such a difference in our own lives that a ripple effect could change the course of our families, our neighborhoods, and our cities? Could just a few of us even change the world?

Did all these lofty thoughts come from one little decision to think of others more than myself? Something my preacher talked about in church yesterday helped me to see the bigger picture today.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at