Andy stepped outside after the recent huge snow storm in our city to meet our postman halfway. Our street was too clogged with snow and ice for him to navigate safely, so our mailman had wisely parked his van at the end of the street. Then this valiant servant of our U.S. Postal System gathered everyone’s mail in his arms and began the tedious job of hand delivering to each front door. He was working for the company known for its old slogan, “Neither rain nor snow, nor heat, or gloom of night stays these couriers from their appointed rounds.”

They met on our driveway, which had been cleared of all the ice and snow, and was looking fairly clean and innocent. After a short conversation, Andy turned to go back to the house, all the while watching as the mailman began sloughing thru the snow to deliver mail to our neighbor.

Not watching his own walk, but the other man’s slow journey.

As Andy absentmindly made the curve from the driveway to our sidewalk, he hit a slick spot. Mail flew to the four corners of our property while he did a perfect face plant in the ice and snow piled up in the decorative rocks imbedded in our flower bed nearby.

He quickly picked himself up, and immediately looked around to see if anyone had seen his embarrassing crash and burn. Next, he began an inspection of all body parts. Nothing missing, nothing broken. Slowly and gingerly he reached up and felt of the eye that had recently become very well acquainted with the garden rocks. No blood, just some swelling. The scattered letters and magazines were located and brushed clean. Finally, all that was left was to get back into the house and admit it all to Renie, and survive her laughter.

Now, remember, Andy hadn’t stumbled over anything left accidentally on the sidewalk. And there was no one else present that might have caused him to slip…cat, dog, grandkid, toy, or spouse. No blame to accept or to pass around. And it is a given that he certainly is not clumsy or awkward. He just simply wasn’t watching where he was going. Like too many people, he had become overly confident and distracted, and blindly stepped on a spot that he should have avoided like the plague.

So what’s left? An ice pack for his face, comforting his pride and hurt feelings, and hiding his black eye at church next Sunday morning. But mainly, remembering to watch where he is going, instead of watching the progress of someone else’s journey.

Also sounds like a great lesson for everyone walking through this life. “Let him that thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall.”

Snow or no snow.

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