Some time ago, I prayed to God, asking to be used for some particular purpose that day. The day went on and nothing new happened. I left work by early evening and still nothing happened out of the ordinary. I remembered thinking, this is strange; Lord, I really want to be used by you.
Going about my usual routine, the day kept moving forward. I stopped at the store to pick up a few items. It was the kind of store that usually has one clerk, yet they have shopping carts for customers to use. Needless to say, it took quite some time to go through the line. On a side note, every once in a while, I step out of my comfort zone and talk to someone around me in line. Depending on how that goes, I might actually get into an actual conversation. But in this instance, a man behind me was talking to literally anyone around him that would listen. Seeing it as strange behavior, I thought maybe something was wrong with him. But as the clerk was ringing me out, he joked with her and tried to make her laugh. Meanwhile, I paid and took my bags to the car.
While driving home I thought, that poor guy needs a friend. Immediately after saying that, I felt like slapping myself in the forehead. I thought about earlier when I asked God to use me in some way to bless another person that day. But it turned out to come in a different package than I expected and I missed the opportunity. I’m not suggesting every opportunity is ordained by God; therefore caution needs to be exercised. But it made me wonder how many times we miss an opportunity to serve one another because we get wrapped up in ourselves and our problems. I spent so much time waiting for opportunity to come that when it did, I didn’t even recognize it when it was in front of my face.
I’d like to say things have gotten much better since in my approach to reaching out to others. However, that would be wrong. I still get caught in my own bubble and easily forget the people around me. Sometimes, I just need a reminder that people are out there, hurting, and could use a friend. So here is a reminder for all of us, sometimes we all need a friend, so be one.