Mattie was absentmindedly digging for money in her purse. She was muttering something about hating the Dollar Store, feeling like warmed-over death, and stopped dead still when she reached the conveyer belt at the end of the checkout counter, she just stood there.

Suddenly an aging, dapper, but energetic, man popped through the main entrance of the store which was right at the same cash register where Mattie was standing.

Mattie looked up at the guy as he rushed toward the register looking at her with a big grin on his face and said, “I beat you”. He turned directly toward Mattie, smiling and inquiring about how well her day was going, and without pausing began explaining his little joke of competing with her about being first at the register. His manner was very disarming, full of joy and kindness.

Mattie was dressed like an old Hippy with a pooched-out belly from bearing three big healthy kids, one after the other, “and that was the end of that” she’d always say about having kids but today she wasn’t ready for any lame jokes about anything, not even those three grown kids still living at home; the look on her face was sour enough to curdle milk, she just wanted to pay for her stuff and go.

Despite her looks and state of mind, a tiny spark ignited in Mattie, she took her hand out of her purse, and began responding to the man’s apology and answering his questions about her well-being; she said her main problem was that her sinuses were killing her and making her miserable.

The man had been very attentive to Mattie’s description of her pain and when she paused he told her about his wife having the same problem. He said they had found a great solution to her misery by taking local wild honey; honey right from the area where they lived. He wrote out the details she needed to find the honey, just the right kind and he stressed again that the honey needs to come from the area where Mattie lived.

The old guy assured Mattie that she’d feel much better in a couple of days or so but she had to give it time. He said he was rushed for time and dashed off to pick up the items he’d stopped in for. She watched him go and realized she’d seen him before and that he was always speaking to people and talking with them.


A few days later, with the pain gone, Mattie had begun to think about the man at the Dollar Store and how he seemed to have some kind of secret, that answer that everyone, rich or poor, wanted to know, was how to live with joy and be happy and grateful most of the time anyway. Mattie’s life had gone from pretty good in her younger days to pretty bad now ………. She remembered hearing that real happiness had to come from herself and not from somebody else or someplace else, but how?

Then she remembered from somewhere, maybe reading it or on TV, that you could change you’re life, change the world by just starting to smile and speak to people wherever you go every day, and also start praising and thanking God for everything all day long every day under your breath or if you’re alone, say it out loud so you can hear yourself saying it because it sounds so sweet and good. If you’re true to this little plan, they promised, you’ll be amazed at the change you’ll see in yourself and the world. This clicked with Mattie, I can do this she thought to herself. With God’s help, I can change my life.

Mattie’s life changed because Mattie changed — she found the door to joy and happiness was right within herself where God lives. Every day she kept reaching out to others, just saying hi and smiling, helping if she could —— praising God, and thanking God to herself all day long. Wow, it felt good when she worked the plan and gave the plan time to work.