I was writing just a couple of days, if you remember, about my belief that there are no accidents, that those things we like to call coincidences or accidents are often no more nor less than signs along the path we are given to walk in life. I was writing also about my sense that I had become inattentive to those signs that I believe in, and about my intention to re-dedicate myself to some kind of service.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I received a telephone call the following morning from a friend to whom I had not spoken in some time--and whose name I had "just happened" to write down on my "to do" list for that same day. He had called to invite me to take a key staff position at one of the weekend trainings offered by that men's organization I had referred to. (It has been more than three years since I last worked on staff, and I have frankly distanced myself from the organization: I had been finding more fulfilling return--and greater serenity--in my meditation practice.)
First response, then, a rush of fear and rejection. This was the last thing I wanted coming along to disturb my life. A rush of judgment about the always challenging, sometimes confrontational aspect of the men's work from which I have learned so much, and which set me on the path that I follow to this day. An immediate recoil from accepting the serious responsibility involved. A surge of self-doubt and fear of exposure...
Had I listened to my instinctive response, I would have responded with an immediate and resounding No.
And yet... I had--coincidentally!--written that piece just a few hours before. I had reminded myself to watch out for signs. I had announced my intention to watch for opportunities to serve, and here was one handed on a platter! How inconvenient! How precise in its challenge to my natural laziness, my inclination to withdraw into solitude, the comfort with which I could write those words without the slightest inkling that the universe might be listening--and take them at face value.
So now I must spend some time paying attention to this unmistakable sign. I must take the time to listen to my heart and come up with an answer to my friend's invitation before too long has passed. Truth to tell, I think the decision has already been made. I'm just allowing myself the slim possibility of an out.