Last Saturday, I attended the wedding of Clinton, a young man I have known since he was a child. Obviously a special day for that reason.
But also interesting for the diversity of the wedding party, the simplicity of the ceremony, and the fact that the mother of the groom arranged the marriage.
Yeah, you heard me.
Okay, it wasn't an "arranged" marriage akin to those in India or China. Actually it is a cute story...here is the short version:
Susan, mom-of-groom was having a marathon shopping day, stopped at a convenience store for coffee - engaged in conversation with Brittany, the young woman behind her, as they waited in a LONG line - in the course of conversation answered "yes" to the Brittany's "do you have any kids" question- got coffee, said goodbye, left the store - felt the tug of a possible opportunity - pulled beside Brittany's car and suggested she might want to send Susan's son a message on Facebook...and Clinton and Brittany are married.
I love that story for so many reasons. Susan is my dear friend and the story so typical of her - and that makes me smile.
But more than that, I love the story because it reminds me that life is about choices and chances... I get to decide and I live with the results.
If I asked if you wanted to miss a great chance, you would undoubtedly say "no." But how many do we unwittingly miss?
Think about simple things, like standing in line. Do we see it as an opportunity or an inconvenience? I generally must remind myself that 5 minutes of waiting is probably not going to change my life significantly. But it could be a chance to give someone a good word, take a moment to pray , or plan the next step in my day.
How about you? Do you wait patiently or waste energy being irritated?
It has taken conscious effort for me to be open to folks around me, especially strangers. First, because I am inherently shy. Second, because I have at least 3 other conversations going on with myself at any given time. But being present in the moment is important... important to others... important because proximity is power and I must be aware that a great opportunity could be right beside me!
The most important lesson for me, however, is in seeing possibility where others may doubt. Susan listened to the nudging and sought out Brittany before she pulled away. Brittany took a chance and sent Clintona message.And Clinton responded.
Each of them could have refused to participate in this process. What man wants his mom setting up dates with a chick in a convenience store? And what woman wants to check out a man whose mom is soliciting dates for him while waiting for coffee? Seriously! Even if she is wearing Chanel earrings!
But they all took a chance. A chance tempered with wisdom and caution, to be sure. But still, a chance.
And I wonder if I have missed opportunities because I wouldn't take a chance? Because I ignored the nudge to extend a hand in friendship. Because I was too busy to take a class, too unsure to apply for a new job, too wrapped up in today's immediate issues to nurture my dream.
How about you?
Sometimes I am so consumed by the URGENT ( as seen by me and others in my life) that I lose track of the IMPORTANT.
How about you? Have you ever started your day with plans to spend at least a portion of time nurturing a dream, but get so wrapped in demands of the day that your dream is ignored? Spent years doing that? And now you think the opportunity is gone?
Sometimes I listen to well-meaning people who say that what I want to do, who I want to meet, where I want to go, will never happen. Too expensive, too time-consuming, too unlikely.
How about you? Have you missed opportunities because you listened to people who don't choose to nurture their dreams?
Sometimes I listen to the opinions of others, even when I feel a connection to someone. Or I am still compelled by the "don't talk to strangers" rule that really only applied until I became a young adult.
Here's the key; when I know who I am, whose I am and what I am seeking in life, I can be open to all possibilities, and yet, not be moved from my path. When I am comfortable with myself, the positive opportunities will shine and the false ones will not lure me.
Do I know myself well enough? Am I comfortable in my skin and stable enough to allow new things or people in without being moved from my path?
I believe it deserves some thought. I saw what taking chances did for Clinton and Brittany...and I don't want to miss out on any good thing!
Thanks for reading...comments welcome!