Sometimes, despite the best plans, our ride goes in a different direction than we had imagined or doesn’t take place at all.
Life has a way of throwing circumstances at us and often we have to make hard decisions.
In keeping with the long range plans of this blog, I will relate a part of what makes looking for the long ride important to me.
I grew up in Port Huron, Michigan, and after several months traveling the U.S. and Europe, I returned to my town to graduate from high school and begin attending community college.
As you can imagine, (having hitch-hiked through Europe) I love to walk and as I lived only two or three miles from college, I would often walk to class in the morning. It’s not that I didn’t have a car (there were times I didn’t) but on a beautiful day I would use walking (translate “ride”) to clear my head and do a little thinking.
I looked forward to that time. Just me and my thoughts and the sights and sounds around me. As a romantic, I would make up stuff in my head and this process would help me navigate my day.
Anyway, there were times during my walk meditation that someone I knew would stop and ask me if I wanted an ride. Most of the time I said that I didn’t and would proceed on my way. I would notice however, that these same people would not interact with me the same way after our encounter.
One day while I was walking, a thought came to me about this situation. I realized that most of these people thought they were doing me a favor and didn’t realize the importance of my daily walks. They more than likely thought I was giving them the cold shoulder and that was not the impression that I wanted to give.
So, I determined that people were more important than my walks and that if anyone stopped and asked me if I needed a ride, I would take the ride in order to value the person, even though I really didn’t need it.
Later in life, I was faced with this same situation, although in a different arena.
I love to read the paper and have very little time in which to indulge myself in this endevour. So, I would often take my paper with me to lunch in order to read it during that hour away from work.
Many times, I would go to a restaurant and end up seeing someone I knew and they would invite me to eat lunch with them. All I really wanted to do was read the paper during lunch and return to work. However, I remembered the lesson of years past, and would put my paper down in order to take advantage of the moment and what had been placed in front of me.
As time would have it, I don’t eat alone to much anymore and do take time to read the paper at night when I get home from work.
People are always valuable and I do believe we will continue to be tested in our devotion and dedication to being a friend to those who need it.
And in so doing, we will get what we need as well.