There are times I board a plane, sit down, and talk to no one the entire flight. Then there are other times. One of us begins a conversation and before I know it we are deep into story. Today was one of those days.
I took the last seat on the plane and sat in between two men. About ten minutes into the flight the man on my right put away his Entrepreneur magazine and began outlining several points onto a legal pad. I was intrigued. Being the naturally nosy person I am, at some point I asked him what he was working out on paper. That began a two hour conversation.
He told me about growing up in an alcoholic household, how his mama was a Black Panther, and how going into the Marine Corps. gave him the education he needed in the world, both in hard knocks and experience. He also told me that he’d just been offered his first CEO position of a multi-million dollar company, and tomorrow is his first day.
About a quarter into our conversation, the man on my left ripped off his headphones and answered a pondering question that we were discussing. “I usually keep my headphones on, but I have got to jump into this conversation.” And he began to tell us about his life philosophy, those things he holds dear, and how he arrived at that place.
I believe that plane ride was a sacred space. A divine appointment.
We did not agree on everything, nor did we share the same beliefs. We simply sat in the questions with one another, absorbing each other’s stories and nodding with the human connection that enriches the soul, no matter your background, or life paradigm.
I will not see those men again. I’m sure of it. But those hours counted and today I’m grateful I was allowed a window into their souls.
Divine appointments cannot be planned. They unfold before us.
And they happen in the sacred space of our home as well.
But they require a spirit that is open and a heart that is attune to the beat of human hearts around us.
When we notice our child whose head hangs just a little lower than usual and we take the time to find out why. When we stay up past midnight, because that is just when our teenager begins to open up and let us into her world. When we reach out in kindness to our spouse who is feeling defeated or discouraged at work.
We sometimes see what is around us better when we are outside of our homes because we are less distracted. At home we can miss them because there is so much going on. So much to get done. So much routine. So many devices.
The way of the human heart is like a soft river running. We must stop and listen to hear the faint current. When we wade in the water we feel the pull and experience the pebbles that lie beneath the surface. The deepest awareness lies in the getting in. If we stay on the bank, we will observe but not experience and share.
So let’s get in.
Let’s see the opportunity before us, plunge into those divine appointments, and get our feet wet.