One of my teachers told a story in class that has meaning to me. My teacher’s friend—I’ll call her Ann—was testing the faith waters. Ann felt somewhat alone in this world, and scoffed at the notion of a greater power interacting with her life. “If there is someone out there show me a sign and I’ll believe,” she said. “I’m going out to the country for a hike, and I want to see a deer. The deer will be a sign that you exist.” Thus taunting the fates, she drove to a lovely rural park and started her hike. Secretly wanting to believe in something beyond the hollowness inside, she looked everywhere for signs of a deer. Nothing. She crept quietly thinking perhaps she was making too much noise and the deer were frightened. Nothing. She waited and watched at the edge of flowery meadows. Nothing. Knowing deer are dusk feeders, she felt sure a deer would come to her as the sun began to set. Nothing.
Feeling vindicated that she was correct about being alone, she nonetheless felt disappointed and more than a little angry that her request had not been answered. As she started to drive home she muttered and fussed about the wasted day until she felt the thump, thump, thump, of a flat tire. She pulled over, got out to survey the damage, and decided it wasn’t something she could repair herself. When she called for service the tow truck driver asked for her location. She looked around and gave him her best description. “I’m on County Road blah blah, about two miles from the County Park. I’m near a deer crossing sign, do you know it?” He said he did and would be out shortly. As she sat in her car waiting she realized she had been heard and started laughing hysterically. She had asked that a deer be a sign that there was a bigger power in the universe. And that is what she got. A deer sign.
Lately I feel like I’m having a hard time keeping up with all the interests and obligations I’ve created in my life. I, too, look for guiding signs. Not because I don’t believe, but because I do believe there are wondrous powers helping me along the way. Like the story above, the trick is recognizing the signs when they arrive. The past two days I have been hearing people talk about the power of setting goals to accomplish what we desire. It’s been in random books I’ve picked up, on programs I’ve listened too, and in conversations with family. With a thunk of my palm to my forehead, it dawned on me to do a better job of setting goals. “Finishing my college paper” may be too general a goal to follow. I need action steps and deadlines. I hate setting action steps and deadlines because then I’m accountable. Apparently the powers that be know me. With persistent layers and varied methods the universe is saying, “If you want what you want, you need to get busy and set better, clearer, goals.”
Ahhh…well, at least I didn’t have to get a flat tire to understand what I needed to understand. 🙂