A few years ago, my computer crashed. Working as a teacher at that time, my financial priorities were so that replacing it immediately in the moment, although necessary, was impossible. The school year was just beginning, and my summer funds were going straight from the bank to buying supplies for my classroom. With lesson preparation imperative but no computer on which to get them done, I turned to the local library to complete my work. Each evening, after leaving my job at an already ridiculous hour and then sitting in rush hour traffic, I and my trusty jump drive would zoom to the library to not only construct unit plans, but check my work and personal e-mail, do research, and spend a bit of time unwinding, reading up on current events.
Finally, the day came that I was able to pick up a new computer. To say I was relived is a huge understatement. At last the day had come that I could remove the stop at the local library from my commute home.
That day, however, despite no longer having the need, something in me said, "Go to the library, Cynae.... just one last time."
So off to the library I went. As I got out of my car, I followed my usual routine of making sure I had everything I needed to get my work done. At the last minute, I remember reaching down into my bag and wrapping my hands around my cell phone just to make sure it was there. What happened next, was totally out of left field:
Walking into the library, it happened.
There was no one around me as I made my way to the library door. Suddenly, however, In my left peripheral view, I saw a security cart come directly toward me. Almost as if in slow motion, I turned just in time to see the driver come to a rolling stop. In actuality, however, he was moving quickly-attempting to stop the vehicle and exit it almost simultaneously. His unsuccessful motions happened so fast, I didn't have time to get a good look at his face...
...he began to have a violent seizure.
My hand, already on my phone as if in anticipation of the moment, withdrew from my bag and I was able to quickly dial 911. I had come to the library so much during my time of inconvenience that I did not have to hesitate or think one bit about my exact location when the emergency response operator asked.
About five seconds into my 911 call and around eight seconds into the episode, someone who later identified himself as a nurse, ran to the seizing security guard's side and tended to him. I had been so focused on calling 911, that I hadn't even thought about physically helping the seizing gentleman who had in the process, fallen head first from his vehicle. Having neither experience with seizures nor head trauma, however, I was grateful that someone else had arrived at the scene to help.
Before I could fully hang-up from the emergency call, the good Samaritan looked up at me and said, "It's a good thing you were here to call 911 so fast. Thank you."
Standing there in somewhat of a calm shock, I could hear the sirens of the ambulance approaching. As the victim slowly regained control of his body, the ambulance arrived and I knew that my work at the scene was done. Somehow, something in me became confident that the security guard would be OK. Taking this assurance to heart, I turned from the scene, went back to my car, prayed, and drove home.
Now, here's the lesson I learned from all of that:
In life, when an inconvenience forces you to operate outside of the space in which you typically operate, two things happen:
Thinking back, I realize that if my computer had not crashed:
These reflections bring me to a realization: Sometimes, inconveniences in our lives can seem monumental. They mayappear to take us off our our projected journeys and set us back a few steps from achieving what we have set out to accomplish. However, for those of us in life who are driven by the idea of purpose, we must remember that our very existence is bigger than our destinations. Many times, just showing up and being present at various points along our journey will change the lives of others.
Today, I challenge you to look at your life's inconveniences, 'bad' decisions, wrong turns, and misfortunes through a different lens. Quite possibly, you are being set up to make a greater impact than you could ever have imagined. In what YOU believe could be a misfortune, you may be poised to help someone in a way that only YOU can, an in turn, impact people well beyond your present sphere of influence.
Don't shirk at your misfortunes. Embrace them. Analyze them. Gain understanding of them and keep moving forward.
Make sure that you are not so caught up on your inconveniences that you miss your appointed time to to change someone's life and in turn, change your own in the process.
Has there ever been a moment in your life when it seemed as if you stumbled into your
appointed time to make an impact? I would love to hear about it
in the comment section below or via e-mail.