You never know where you will hear words of wisdom.
You never know where your story will be told.
I am reminded time and time again to stay open to conversations that present themselves.
I was sitting on a bench, looking out towards the ocean.
I had been camping all weekend and the boat skipper of the camp was preparing his boat to head into town.
I noticed him walking my way but believed that he would walk past, leaving me to look out over the sea alone. I really didn’t want to talk. I really wanted to be left alone. He walked up to me though, and sat on the bench next to me.
We both looked out at the ocean.
He waited a moment before he spoke. He pointed to a group of students who were out in the cove, tipping their kayaks and laughing as they fell into the water.
He said, “Look, their lives are full of endless possibilities.”
I thought to myself, Yes… you are right… their lives are full of endless possibilities but I have lived my life and it hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would.”
I felt I had no endless possibilities left.
He seemed to pick up on what I was thinking and said:
“A year ago I was retired from the Coast Guard, living in Virginia, running a power plant. I believed that my life was what it would be. That there were no more endless possibilities. Next thing I knew, I received a call from a friend in the Coast Guard who told me that the boat skipper of his camp was retiring and they were looking for someone to take his place. My wife and I sold our home, grabbed our kids, and now… we live on this beautiful island in a house by the ocean. So you see, there are always endless possibilities.”
He smiled…said that he had to get back to work… and left never knowing that he had just said exactly what I needed to hear.
Had I turned my back on that moment, had I chosen to get up and walk away, I wouldn’t have heard it.
He was right.
My life was full of endless possibilities.
Age had nothing to do with it.
Being open to the experience is what it’s about.
Stay open to the unexpected conversations.
They provide a wealth of wisdom if you just stop and listen.
“Dear God, help me to hear your voice in the words that other’s speak.”