Are You Just A Check In the Box?
Hear the podcast: http://www.spreaker.com/user/bathsheba/4-are-you-just-a-check-in-the-box
Same day I posted aired the last blog, I couldn’t get out the bed. I just wanted to sleep more, you know? Then I saw that there was black ice still on the roads by checking the alerts on my phone, so I thought to myself, “Surely, they’re going to cancel classes. I don’t want to run the risk of driving with my daughter in the car and sliding on unrecognizable ice.”
School was not cancelled. I’d have to drive 40 minutes in possible hazardous conditions. I was upset about it, so while preparing my slow-moving five-year-old for school in the morning, I told her, “We shouldn’t have to go to school today.” She just looked at me and shook her head.
While the roads in my neighborhood were not that great, the main roads were fine, but something kept gnawing at me. And all day, I was extremely anxious.
11am hits and I’m in class, students are working in groups and I get this Facebook notification on my phone. It’s a notification from the PTA group at my daughter’s school.
Yea. I stayed calm, until I saw the next post.
I’m sure Zoe is okay. No biggie.
The teacher calls and proceeds to ask me to pick up my child as soon as possible. The same time her teacher calls, my supervisor comes to visit my classroom. It’s 11:20am. My class isn’t over until 11:55am.
My supervisor gives me the go ahead to leave, but I am hesitant about leaving. Should I stay the remaining 20 minutes and finish class? Should I leave in the middle of class with students left wondering?
I looked at the clock. Glanced at it one more time, put my coat on, left all my materials on the table, and left the building at 11:25am, asking to have someone replace me in class while on my way out the door.
I don’t know why but this time I didn’t sit in my car to wait for it to warm up. Warming up usually takes about 15 minutes and when it’s cold, even longer than that.
But when I started it, I remembered my car was almost on E, because I told myself, I’d just get gas on the way to pick up my daughter from school.
I stopped to get gas at about 11:40am. Traveled down the road a few more blocks and arrived at the church where students were located. Pulled up right behind 3 police cars, hoping I could park on the side of the road next to the church instead of having to walk. I literally contemplated whether I should just ask one of the cops if I could park there to run in.
It’s about 11:43 when I finally decide to move my car to the other side of the street.
Walked in. Grabbed Zoe, and headed toward my car. Strapped her in and it’s around 12:00pm/12:05.
I started traveling back in the direction of my workplace…gather my things…etc.
Upon approaching the building, literally like 3 blocks away from my building two cop cars come speeding down the road from behind me, going about 100+ mph.
Crazy day. What in the world? I thought.
It had to be around 12:15 or 12:20pm because, it takes me about 15 minutes to get from my daughter’s school to work and the church where they were located that day, is next door to the school.
The rest of the road to my school building was blocked, so I couldn’t go up the few blocks to park and go back into the building.
I called my job.
Placed on hold.
All I could hear, was an emergency announcement stating that there was a shooting happening right in front the building and people were not permitted to come in or go out.
Police were shooting at three men who had robbed someplace. In the process an innocent bystander, was shot.
Needless to say, I ended up going home but all I could think about was how I left my job at the time necessary to prevent my daughter and I from walking into the line of fire.
From 11:25am-12:15. A 50 minute window. A 50 minute window was all I had, and I took it. I took it not knowing that not taking it could have resulted in a life or death situation for me and my little one.
What window do you have? What’s your window? Is it 50 minutes? 50 years? Maybe it’s 25, or 10.
If you knew that constantly looking at the clock, second-guessing yourself and failing to move at the right time could result in the life or death of your dream, your existence, would you still be sitting and meddling with just random things to do? Would you be wallowing in your problems or finding purpose in them.
You see, sometimes our problems serve as safe havens. The gas leak was a problem that became a safe haven for my daughter and me. The presence of this problem, made me move with speed. I didn’t have time to continue what I had been doing in class. Class would still be there. I didn’t have time to wait for someone to arrive to take over. I didn’t have time to wait until 12:00pm to leave because that would have been too late.
What are you waiting on? Your problems are motivation. Sometimes they are fortresses, meant to cover you from evil so that your feet will not stumble.
One of the things I have learned is that purpose and problems are like siblings. They are related. You can’t be akin to one without being connected to the other. You cannot find purpose, until you see a problem that needs to be fixed and pursue after it when the time is ripe. You keep saying….yea I’mma do it when my money gets right…..When my child is older…..After I save up my retirement
Do you know your expiration date?
Are you okay with the mundane? Afraid of interruptions? Surely, my class was and the trip to get my child were both interrupted. Having to make a pit stop while trying to deal with a situation is definitely no fun at all. But these interruptions intercepted a possible catastrophe.
What is holding you back? The clock is ticking….You still have work to do and it doesn’t matter that ice is on your road. Things are slippery right now. You still have to report to work. Yes you may not know what lies ahead, but I tell you one thing: When you move when God says so, you are protected by purpose.
Lawyer. Doctor. Businessman. Businesswoman. Teacher. Singer. Artist. Teacher……..
How do you define yourself? Some of us define ourselves by the checklist above. When people ask us who we are, we respond with one of the aforementioned. Surely, the composition of our lives cannot be easily written off in a simple checklist. Are you just a check in the box? A check in a few boxes?
I refuse to believe that my existence is confined to the four sides and 90 degree angles of a flat one-dimensional square. I am so much more and so are you.
What made us limit ourselves to a one-dimensional square when we are three dimensional beings? Aren’t we so much greater? Aren’t we houses holding great treasures that are to be bestowed upon the earth? Without our existence, the world would be forever changed. More specifically, without YOUR existence, the world would be forever changed. You are unique and one of a kind. Only one of you was created and purposed to be and do what only ______(fill your name in here)____________ can carry out. How can we merely say that we are an occupation, an activity or for that matter, a festivity? If you are defined by your career, position in someone’s life, or hobby in which you are involved, then what makes you any different than all the other individuals who checked the same boxes as you.
I don’t want to be measured by the perimeter of the box in which others try to define me. I want to live a limitless life with no boundaries: One that is an ocean; while the beginning seems shallow, the depth eludes you and the reach is unknown. My existence and meaning can be contained as much as a man can capture the ocean in a bottle. While he may share with others some of its essence, he will never be able to embody the body of water he pulled from.
They can’t capture you unless you have already placed a period on your life. Martin Luther King Jr. once said death is not a period, but a comma. Stop placing periods on your life! Take advantage of your window.
There is only one you. No one else can do what you do. No one else can bless the world the way in which you can. When God creates there is no opportunity for carbon copies. There may be similar versions, but no one in your exact likeness.
Gifts come wrapped and packaged differently. Your experiences, genetic make-up, voice tone, personality etc, will make all the difference in how your package is delivered.
NO ONE CAN REPLICATE YOU.
So you know what that means?
You have to take the limits off.
No more one-word answers to define YOU. No more being afraid someone will steal your identity or ideas. No more, I can’t do it because someone else is already doing it. No more I can’t be, because someone else is already at their point of self-actualization.
Take your check-in the box existence and feed it to the birds.
How does living without limits look for you?
Here is the link to the actual news article from the shooting: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-police-involved-in-shooting-in-southeast-washington/2015/01/07/3b4238c8-9696-11e4-927a-4fa2638cd1b0_story.html