Change is good. All kinds of change. Drive a differrent way to work. Buy a cup of coffee from a different coffee shop. Matter of fact, use the left over change in your car to by a lottery ticket. It may not sound like that much of a difference, but even little changes are good. Break your routine and live a little. Sure, there’s comfort in knowing what’s coming around the next bend. But then there’s also monotany. As humans beings we crave routine. And when we get it, we crave change. The only thing that is constant is change (except maybe spare change!).
Do you remember that great feeling you got when you were a kid and your mom or dad bought you a new pair of Zipps sneakers? Yeah that feeling like there was nobody better than you. You could run faster, jump higher, and if people weren’t careful you might flash through their kitchen and leave only a trail of light and an empty plate of cookies behind. Change is what produced that feeling. Breaking the habit of wearing the same old shoes. Sure, those would wear out or your foot would grow out of them, but they carried no less “zip” than the first day you put them on. But they too paled in comparison to the new pair of nikes you got next.
Today, traveling home I pulled off the I-20 freeway to go home. On the exit ramp a man sat on a duffle bag. His flannel shirt made no sense in the Georgia heat. It was beginning to rain and the ink on the sign he’d made was beginning to run. It said: “traveling thru. hungry. need change please…” I decided I would look him in the eyes when I got to the stop sign he was leaning on. That’s something I normally wouldn’t do.
I normally would find myself turning away or digging out my sticky soda baked coins. But today I would look him right in the eyes. What would I see? I tell you, it was a strange experience. The hardness of his skin contrasted with the tenderness of his soul. The story was in his eyes. Like a flash you could see it. You could see he was ashamed to be begging. You could also see that it hadn’t always been this way. He probably had a family at one point. A job. A car perhaps or a truck. He probably saw somethings in me too.
Rain drops collected on the leather of my interior as my electric window rolled down. He rose to his feet and came to collect his prize. I decided to give him that feeling I had when my parents bought me those shoes years ago. I reached my hand out to meet his and I deposited the lottery ticket that I bought earlier that day when I was searching for change and I found it in the seats of my truck.
Because you see, it’s not the prize itself that we crave. Whether it be shoes, a different flavor of coffee, or the idea of winning millions of dollars that changes us……It is our dreams. Only they can move us to change ourselves. And I think that’s just what we both needed.