I’ve been feeling kinda wimpy today, so I was sorta pre-disposed to doing it, I guess…was I wrong?
It started with a little dust up with Mr. Tattered. No big deal. We’ve had much worse. But it left me in a thinking mood, and those rarely end well for me. I always seem to figure out how it was my fault (even if it wasn’t) and more often than not, it sets the stage for thinking about other things and I end up in weird places in my head.
Then on top of that, I heard a song called “Don’t Blink.”
I turned on the evening news
Saw a old man being interviewed
Turning a hundred and two today
Asked him what’s the secret to life
He looked up from his old pipe
Laughed and said “All I can say is.”
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your better half
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don’t blink
I was glued to my TV and it looked like he looked at me and said
“Best start putting first things first.”
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can’t flip over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it’s worth
I’ve been tryna slow it down
I’ve been tryna take it in
In this here today gone tomorrow world we’re livin’ in
Now, don’t blink
I didn’t really need a reminder that life is short, and that any day wasted being angry is, well…a wasted day. I don’t feel like I have any to waste, at least not if they’re full of yucky stuff. So, I teared up. No, I cried. Actual tears down my cheeks as I drove to run an errand.
I arrived at my destination, did my business and got back in the car. As I drove out of the parking lot I saw a man, his wife, and two kids on the side of the driveway with a sign saying “lost my job – need food and rent money.”
I drove past them, only to make a u-turn at the intersection and go back. I barely remember making the conscious decision to do it.
I had a $5 bill in my pocket, and was headed to buy a fancy coffee drink on the way to my next errand. But something inside me said, “No. You don’t need a fancy coffee drink. And those people need that $5.” So, down went the window and I stuck my hand out with the $5, handed it to the man and said “God bless you.” I don’t know if he even believed in God, but it doesn’t matter. I can only assume that He planted the idea in my head, because I am not one to give cash like that.
I HAVE been known to go and buy groceries from time to time and bring them back. I detest the idea of people using my cash to buy booze or drugs, so I’ve made it my personal policy not to give cash. I don’t know what made this time different. It just felt like the right thing to do.
I don’t want to sound like I’m all wonderful. Really $5 to me is not a big deal. Not like it’s my last mite, as the story in the Bible goes. In fact, truth be told, I had a twenty in my wallet. I sorta wish I had given it instead.
Anyway, me being me, I had to spend the next half hour wondering if it WAS the right thing.
We live in an area that doesn’t have much homelessness (at least not that shows) and very few “beggars” or “panhandlers.” I don’t know what the politically correct term is these days. I guess a part of me worries that if I contribute to their success we might see more of it? Or that by giving them another means of getting money they’ll be less inclined to look for work? I don’t know. I just felt conflicted.
But then I put myself in their position – what would I do if I didn’t have a job, and couldn’t find one, and my rent was due and my family was hungry? At least he isn’t robbing someone at gunpoint, or breaking into someone’s house. He’s just asking for help. Is that so bad?
And what if it’s a scam? If it is just his part time job?
Again, I don’t know. And when it comes right down to it, I guess I don’t care. I saw someone who appeared to be in need and I was about to spend the money on something I most certainly DIDN’T need. I can leave it up to God to work with the rest. Life’s too short to pass up opportunities to help people.
I’m hoping that in my old age I’ll be more inclined to do what feels right at the moment, rather than spend so much time over-thinking it and let an opportunity to help slip away. That I’ll LOOK for ways to help. That’s good thing, right?