Busy busy busy! I’ve just hooked up my new birthday computer and ordered Pizza Hut for supper. My hands were filthy from all the dust bunnies that had collected in the old computer and under all the snakes (wires). I took off the cover on the old tower and cleaned all the dust and fuzz out of it, which must’ve been at least an inch thick. Maybe that’s why it was running slow? THIS is the first post written on my new computer, and I must say YAY!!
So, today’s Something Beyond Greatness daily post is a continuation of yesterdays, or rather, an expounding of it. In the book, the authors give a formula for greatness. One part is the ability to see with love, to see the person you’re helping as a person belonging to you in some way. For instance, when you see the commercial of the child scrounging through the garbage for dinner, do you see a child who needs help and are moved to do something? Or, and this is the category I fall in, do you see a camera crew who has dinners provided, a host trying to convince you to send him (or her) money so they can “help” them (they’ll give a kid a sandwich, and take the rest of the money to Rio, I bet). Okay, so the commercials don’t work on me, but I help the missions at church and “adopted” a child or two in Uganda and Brazil.
A second part of the equation is what I talked about yesterday, Instrument Consciousness. Being open and willing to be used to do a kind act. I ran into the house, even though it was on fire, and pushed the people out the door. The third part is that of Destiny, fate, or the design of the supreme being, God’s Will. Being in the right place at the right time. This is the part we’re discussing today. It’s this part that’s the most humbling of the process and what makes a person an instrument and NOT a hero.
For a long time, and even now, so many things about that night just leaves me in awe… not of what I did, but of the odds that I was even able to help. First off, I was on the phone with my mom at that time of night, because the cell service I had provided free calls after 9 at night. That particular night, I was even later than normal to call because the kids were late to bed. Normally, I would have been inside and in bed by then. I was outside on the porch talking because I have a weird Bermuda cell zone in my house and I had to go outside to get reception. I had moved my chair to where I was sitting because the door we had been using (our house has 2 front doors) had gotten stuck in the frame and we couldn’t use it and I had slid the lawn chair in front of the stuck door.
Now, all that put me in the right spot on my front porch to see the glow of the fire between the houses across from me. Six inches either way, and I would’ve only seen the houses. AND it put me on the porch at the right time to have seen it. Add to it that I’m nosy by nature and HAD to check out the weird light, and I was in the right place at the right time.
Now, at that time of night, the neighbors hadn’t noticed because first shift workers were in bed and those on the second shift were still at work and wouldn’t have seen it for another hour at least. So, if I hadn’t been in that exact spot on my porch at that time, the kids whose bedrooms were on the second floor would’ve been overcome by smoke and possibly died, if they had had to wait for second-shifters to come home and call 911.
It’s all the what ifs and maybes, the overwhelming amount of coincidences (if you believe in coincidences like that) that humble me and leave me in awe. I wasn’t a hero. I was in the right place at the right time and I had no choice, I had to act. I had to help. To choose to walk away would’ve been unthinkable. The lady hugged me and cried and held on to me for a good fifteen minutes. In the end, there was no mention of me in the papers, no ceremony or parade in my honor. I think the firemen who do that sort of thing ON PURPOSE as a career are real heroes. The people going UP the stairs on September 11, 2001 while everyone was going down, away from the blazing, steel-warping inferno… those people are heroes. People who join the military to protect their county and help to bring freedom to others, they are the real heroes.
So, has there ever been a time where you were in the right place at the right time to help someone?
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