This morning, I woke up at 8:30am, threw on some #softclothes, and reluctantly drove myself to the DMV. No better place to spend your last morning of 2014, am I right? 

That being said, I wasn't in the best of moods. On my drive over, I was mentally preparing myself to wait in line for three hours in front of "sneezing flu-spreader" and behind "mom with five screaming children," only to be told I don't have the right paperwork by Roz, the mean secretary creature from Monsters Inc.

I parked in the crowded lot and walked toward the entrance, dreading the next several hours of my existence. I was being so dramatic you'd think I was actually wishing this to be the worst day of my life.

To my surprise, I entered the front doors to find no line, no sneezers, no screaming children, and no monster. What I did find, however, was a change in perspective, thanks to a joyful stranger.

As I was speaking with the woman at my assigned desk, an elderly man with a cane approached the desk beside mine with a big smile. The clerk asked him how he was. He responded with a grin, "I'm like Tony the Tiger. I'm greeeat!!! It's a new day and I'm alive!" This prompted me to laugh, along with several of the clerks behind the counter. The kind of laugh that leaves a genuine smile on your face even after the chuckle runs out. He continued to kindly interact with the woman helping him. As he left, he made a point to look the two clerks and myself in the eyes and say, "Have a happy New Year, and God bless you!"

Man. This really got me. After all of my internal whining about visiting the DMV, I ended up leaving the place with a more grateful heart - sans any of the horrible things I'd expected to encounter. All because of this man. He made my day better, and because gratitude is contagious, he probably ended up doing the same for everyone else who stepped foot into that building today. 

It's New Years Eve, and I want to wake up in 2015 with that Tony the Tiger mentality. I want to be "doing greeeat" because of gratitude, and not only when things are going my way. 

Friends. Let's help each other out this year by smiling a little more, laughing a lot more, and having more faith in things like the DMV. Let's be grateful. Good exists, and we have a God that loves us.

Happy New Year.

- Ben (MY RED + BLUE)