I’m sitting here looking at the calendar. There are only a few more days left in January. A month ago many people made resolutions for the coming year and I’m sure the vast majority of those resolutions have already found a hiding place. I’m not sure why people do it every year. Maybe it makes them feel better for a few minutes, hours or days. Some might stick it out and make wholesale changes while others never came up with plans to achieve their fabricated resolutions. With all of that being said I guess that’s why this quote shows up on my calendar for the month of January: “A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

What does that mean to you? Every time I read it I’m confronted with a variety of thoughts. Unfortunately none of the thoughts remain consistent. Sometimes I think I get it and other times I feel as if I’m grasping at a leaf blowing through the sky on a windy fall day.

We’ve all made choices that have led us down different paths. When I examine the quote tonight it reminds me that we will meet our destiny no matter where we go. Although we can make choices that bring us in and out of happiness we can’t control what will ultimately happen to us.

I could go to the store tonight and find myself in the hospital after hitting some black ice. I could see someone at the store who I haven’t seen in 20 years. I could pick up a hitchhiker only to find out he is a veteran of the United States military who is searching for his family.

No matter what the circumstance things happen to us based on timing. Timing is everything or nothing all at once. A matter of five seconds can be the difference between life and death. A matter of minutes might keep you from meeting the most influential person of your lifetime. A day or two might keep you from getting swept away in a tornado.

Very rarely do people think about timing and the effects it has had on everyone around them. We are all in the position we are in because of perfect timing or maybe not so perfect timing. If my mother hadn’t become pregnant in 1965 there’s no guarantee my parents would have gotten married or decided to have two more children. My parents were kids and they were going to start having kids. It was taboo back in those days to have children out of wedlock, but my grandmother took my mom and my father in and allowed them to start a family. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for everything that transpired after my mother and father found out they were going to have a baby.

I’m sure it was a scary time. I’m sure they probably thought of alternative plans, but they stuck it out and gave it ┬átheir best. As with any marriage there have been ups and downs, but they have succeeded at becoming the best parents any child could ever ask for. Their destiny was to raise a healthy and loving family they could be proud of. The original road they were traveling on probably had no children crossing signs on it, but their destiny was to erect the signs and watch them disappear over time as their children became adults.

As I sat in the church today for the funeral of a very well-liked young man it was another situation where timing led to his destiny. For a reason nobody will ever understand it was his time. He might have been here to enlighten all of the people he touched. It might have been his job to show people how to love unconditionally. He might have been here to show us that nothing lasts forever. No matter what the case there’s no way anyone could have stopped it. Although we all want to go back in time and hope for a different outcome we can’t do that. Instead, we have to accept the pain from the tragedy and find a way to help others get through it. We have to put our hands on their shoulders. We have to squeeze them tight. We have to tell them we love them. We have to use our strength to help others deal with the pain that will take a lifetime to subside. Maybe he was put here to show people it’s okay to help others.

None of these questions will ever be answered. That’s why we have to find strength in others.┬áDon’t take people for granted. Life is fragile and it can be taken from any one of us at any time. Do the things you enjoy and include the people you love. You can love them as a partner, a sibling, a parent or just a friend. It’s okay to love a lot of people. The most loving people usually find the best support.

As you pick the roads you will travel realize that no matter which ones you choose there will never be a wrong choice. All roads lead someplace and the one you’re on is meant to take you where you’re supposed to be. Always enjoy the ride and everything will happen as it’s supposed to happen.

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