I believe all things have meaning. There have been many TV shows, and movies, over the years that speculate on this. Most recently, “Touch” has brought this home to me in great detail. We’re all interconnected in some manner that defies description, that cause us to turn down roads, or streets, that we do not normally travel. The end result of such detours always, in my experience, leads us into a situation where we have an opportunity to help someone. Or not. It’s a simple choice we make every waking day of our lives.
Generally, such events are not overtly evident, they happen in small ways. I could be as simple as stopping at a crosswalk on a busy street to allow someone to cross the street. They may have been waiting for a long time and, perhaps, late getting to an important meeting. By taking the detour, and stopping, you’ve added your signature to the overall scheme of things. You mattered. You had a choice. For that person, you made the right one.
I’m not spouting something new, but simply adding my little spin on how I perceive these life changing events. Diane and I have them all the time, perhaps because we tend to travel the path less travelled. Backroads, and side streets are our preferred method of getting from A to B, no matter where we go. Consequently, we’ve had an opportunity to slow down and see many things that make us undetrstand why we either turned where we did, or why we happened to be in the wrong lane, and had to either get off the road, or take a chance to get back into line.
During our long trip in 2010 several things happened to serve as evidence that things fall into place in a seemingly magical manner. Two come to mind.
One was a stop at a fast food facility to get a couple of breakfast sandwiches before heading down the road. When we received our order it was wrong. It was corrected, but they allowed us to keep the extra meal. As we pulled away from the drivethru, Diane turned down an alley instead of onto the road so we could stop and organize ourselves. Near where we stopped there was a gentleman of lesser means searching trashcans for something to eat. He came away with a paper plate with “something” on it and started walking by the car. Diane and I looked at each other, silently communicating the knowledge that this is why we went this way. She rolled down her window and offered this man the extra meal. He accepted it, then returned his plate to the garbage can. It was solid reinforcement that we’re hear for a reason. Had we not had the extra meal, we would have given him one of ours and gone back for another. Having it, however, simplified the process.
A second detour, caused by construction, forced us off the highway into a small town in Montana. We’d been travelling a while and had a destination planned, but we weren’t ready to stop so it was briefly upsetting when we had to exit. The disappointment was brief because along the exit road was a cemetery that had a section specifically for Veterans that had identical headstones, like Arlington. It was very striking and, after exchanging a knowing look, we stopped to take a walk. It was beautifully maintained, and having a separate section for Veterans made it all the more special to us. That’s no doubt because of our close affiliation with the military for so many years of our lives. We’ve never seen another cemetery like it, before or since. We believe we were taken to that location so we could see that cemetery and witness the honor this community bestowed upon their home town heros.
I have absolutely no doubt that each and every one of you have had similar experiences. Maybe you don’t think anything about why these things happen, and that’s OK. Maybe you do think about it and chalk it off to coincidence. That’s OK, too. Personally, I don’t think it’s coincidence, at all. I think that no matter which road you take, no matter where you are going, you will always encounter an opportunity to give someone a helping hand, to do something good, to make a difference. This makes me think think of an old saying that “it’s not the road you’re on, it’s the journey.”
I’m not special because I think about things like that – we’re all wired a little differently. Some no doubt think I have a few wires crossed. So do I, sometimes. But, I believe I can see just a little bit of the interconnectivity we all have.
If you look, so can you.