We’ve all seen the homeless man on the side of the road asking for money or food or “anything” that “helps.” I sometimes wonder what the “anything” would be.
I admit sometimes I’m in a hurry and don’t say or give anything at all to them. I almost act like they’re not even there. How inhumane of me, really.
Last week I was coming home from work and there at the stop sign stood a man with a similar sign. But instead of rolling on by without a hello I rolled down my window and told him I’d buy him a hamburger if he’d meet me up at Sonic. So he did. And I did. And as we waited for his burger to come out I asked him what he was doing.
He said he’d been “doing this” (traveling around hitchhiking) for three years. He didn’t seem like an alcoholic or a mean, creepy guy, just an elderly man with big glasses and a big backpack who had been to many many places. I offered him a few kind words and hoped he saw light in my heart and then we went our separate ways.
I’m not sure what this man’s full story was. He said he didn’t have much family except some extended family in a state far away. But what I do know is that man, just like each and every one of us, isn’t confined to the circumstance we are currently facing. We can choose, in our hearts, to forget what’s been hindering us and to move forward instead.
Paul wrote something similar: “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”
We get that chance every day. More than that really–we get it every moment. To forget what is behind us–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and instead, make drastic steps forward to do all the things we were meant and put on earth to do.