Last Saturday, fifteen of us gathered at the local Greyhound Bus Stop to offer kindness, water, snacks, encouragement, warm clothing, magazines and misc. toiletries to weary travelers.
Fifteen minutes after the first bus should have arrived, we ventured inside to double-check the schedule. The woman behind the counter explained that all the busses were late. She scribbled out specifics for us on this piece of paper.
Just a few minutes later we were reprimanded by another employee for being on their property. She went to get her manager, who actually was much kinder and gentler.
The reality is… sometimes things just don’t go as planned.
This crew that gathers with me has a sense of adventure and smiles to spare. They are a creative and resourceful group! As we packed up our give-aways, we brainstormed where we could share the kind of things we had. We proceeded to the intersection where our City Go buses gather. There was just one problem. It was Saturday and the routes ended early. There was not one bus there. We just had to laugh.
We talked about other possibilities. By now it was nearly dark and much colder. The things that we had did not match up with the dwindling options of where we could go. So we hugged each other, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
I’ve done a bit of thinking about the whole experience. I’ve been wondering what our take-away should be. Is there anything in particular we should have learned from that? Is it okay to not have a Plan B? Is it okay to not accomplish anything?
Here’s my conclusion: I love who I am doing life with these days.
Here’s the thing: Life is filled with things that don’t go as planned… with ‘hiccups’ and valleys and downright devastating times. Life is always subject to change without notice. I have learned that what really matters during those times is who we have beside us.
That group that gathered on Saturday? We are friends. We walk through life’s ups and downs with each other. We celebrate and cry with one another. We share with each other, pray for one another and laugh together. Not one of them blamed me for not asking permission or for not having a Plan B. Everyone agreed that most of our supplies would keep until the next outing. The fresh fruit and homemade goodies were taken to a church that feeds the homeless.
One of the things I have loved about these Acts of Kindness Adventures is that they have not been subject to the measuring sticks that we so often use in other areas of our life. They are not performance driven. We do not have to declare them a success or a failure. We have not had to keep statistics. We have not had to chart or gauge responses. We do not have to account for our giving. The central questions have been, were we kind, were we able to brighten a day and were we able to offer hope?
I always want to learn the lesson that I’m supposed to. So, if I learned anything from this particular adventure it would be (1) ‘Let it go’ and (2) Appreciate the people that do life with you even when it doesn’t go as planned!
Happily Grateful With You,