When my old computer broke back in 2006, I figured whatever I needed to do on a computer could be done either at work or at my neighborhood library, so I never bought a new one. My local library at the time was attached to a community college, so the extended hours made it possible for me to save a little money and do without my own technology for a while.
Eventually, though, I got a job with an employer who provided laptops to its employees. On the day they issued mine, I had planned to go straight home since I no longer needed to use a library computer. But the closer I got to my house, it seemed like I just couldn't make the turn into my neighborhood; I continued down the main road to the library, all the while chuckling at the realization that I had a new habit that would be hard to break.
I parked on the parking lot row that lead to the front of the library. Walking toward the door, I suddenly noticed that my cell phone wasn't in its usual place. I reached into my bag to check to see if it was there, but I never stopped because I had already determined that my trip wouldn't take long, so there was no need for it if I had left it in the car.
Just around the time my hand found the phone deep in the corner of my purse, I saw a security guard on a golf cart speeding toward the door. Our paths were perpendicular--a few more seconds at our respective paces, and we would have collided.
His cart, suddenly, came to a stop. I could tell he was in a hurry to get somewhere, but his body wouldn't cooperate with him as he threw his cart into the park position. He looked at me just before his body folded over the side of the cart, and his body slid to the ground.
He was having a seizure.
With my hand still around the phone that I had just searched for in the corners of my bag, I got over any shock that tried to paralyze me, and by the time the man's shoulder touched the ground, I had already dialed 9-1-1.
Meanwhile, a grey haired man rushed to the security officers side to give him care-- he did so with the skill of a medical professional, seeming as if he knew exactly what to do.
In less than 90 seconds of the onset of the entire episode, an ambulance from a nearby station pulled into the library parking lot; I said a quick, silent prayer over the man's life, and knowing he would be in good hands with the team already assisting him, I began to walk back to my car to process what I had just witnessed. I had only taken a few steps when the white bearded man called out, "That was a good call you made...to 911...thank you."
I believe there is an appointed time for everything—the moments when the floodgates open and everything just seems to work together, as well as the seasons of our lives where things aren't working out. It can be difficult, but if we change our mindsets to acknowledge purpose in everything we go through, then there's a chance we will get to see just how connected we (and our experiences) truly are.
Take a look at how this idea played out in my library story:
Question: What if I had ignored that feeling that pulled me to the library? What if I hadn't been there? Whose life/lives would have been impacted if that man hadn't gotten the help that he needed at the very time he needed it?
We all have purpose. You may not see it. You may not feel like it. But YOU are SUPPOSED to be here.Your existence matters! Even if your main assignment is to simply be present to make ONE phone call, you never know the story that is playing out in the space around you. You never know who you are supposed to help get to the next point in their journey, and what lessons you will learn in the process of doing so.
I encourage you to open your mind, and shift your thinking to a mindset that embraces our connections. With everything that we struggle with on a daily basis, it's sometimes difficult to focus on anything but our own survival. But remember that with every choice, every action, and every deed, you have the opportunity to "move the needle" of humanity and love.
Don't get so distracted by your day-to-day hustle that you miss one of your appointed times to make a difference.