Our new chairman, Dennis Melby, invited me to write a short and sweet piece for the newsletter. Something positive. Was he kidding? He’s a very smart man who stays current on all the news, and this is a newsletter for a political organization. Politics by its nature is less warm and a lot more fuzzy. What was there to say?

But as the old saying goes, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. In my case, on my way to Mass. As usual, last Sunday I needed to pack my 12-minute trip into ten minutes if I wanted to arrive before the church bells’ final toll. On my way I was speeding while flipping through radio stations, frustrated by a spate of commercials. Oddly, because I rarely ever do this, I decided to turn it off  and listen to what God might be broadcasting instead. It was notably silent, but not for long. Just a couple of minutes later, and as I was preparing to make a left turn, a cyclist came careening at me from around the corner with his bike out of control and fighting hard to avoid a collision. It seemed inevitable that he would crash into me, potentially flying over my hood and into moving traffic. Mind you, at this point both my hands were on the wheel, and I was quickly able to maneuver my car far enough out of the way without hitting another so that he had just enough space to stabilize his bike and – miraculously – move on unscathed. Thank you, God, I whispered the quiet part out loud. Ironically, the homily that day surrounded the theme of “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

We do our best not to mix politics and religion. But I share this message because it’s beyond both of those. It’s also about focus. Every day we are bombarded with bad news and commercial junk on TV, the radio, in newspapers, and social media. However, what you focus on is what shapes your thought patterns, outlook, actions, and relationships. Gratefully, in that happenstance encounter with the cyclist I was truly in the moment; not speeding while flipping through stations, but rather listening to what’s really going on in life. This perhaps helped to prevent a catastrophic injury or worse.

So here’s the short and sweet of it. Don’t get fooled into thinking the world is completely on fire. It’s not. There are wondrous things flowing around us all the time which we can only experience if we take some time to tune out the negative, then look, listen, and -- be grateful.


Stacey Sauter is the Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party, a former candidate for Maryland State Delegate, a REALTOR and frequent guest of 21 This Week. She can be reached at [email protected]

Montgomery County Republican Party