Why Are You Here?

Sunrise in Oklahoma

I was going for a jog the other morning. It’s July in Oklahoma, which means getting out really early, before the blistering sun begins to bake everything it can touch. This year, however, Okies have been blessed with a rather mild summer… and it’s awesome.

Anyway, as I was running my standard two-mile route, I passed the pond on the main road. This day, however, it was different. It was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. So much so, in fact, that I stopped to take the photo above. Nice, huh? Seven minutes later, when I passed this same spot on my return trip, it had changed completely. Sure, the sun was still rising and the water was still silent, but the pink hues, the perfect reflection the silhouette of the houses and trees… they were different. That magical moment I captured was gone.

This got me to thinking… “Why am I here?”. Sure, that’s a big ol’ heavy topic, but I wasn’t thinking in a metaphysical sense (at 6 am, with sweat gushing from every pore of my body, I’m not in ‘deep thought’ mode!). I was thinking more along the lines of the immediate space around me. Why am I here?

Sometimes, things click so well, you know without a doubt why you are in this space at this time. Sometimes, it’s not so clear. You’re going through the same motions you did a week ago, but it’s different now. Not necessarily better or worse. Just different. So, why are you here?

Last month, my wife and I took our 7-year-old daughter to see Despicable Me 2 (don’t judge me!). It was a matinee and there were lots of kids there. At the climax of the movie, the woman in front of us (who had several kids of various ages) jumped up and started screaming, “Help me! Help me! Help me!”

I quickly ran to where she was and noticed two little legs sticking up from one of the chairs that was folded shut. She screamed, “My baby is in there! Don’t let him die!”

Wow! That was unexpected. I was just enjoying an animated film and now this?!

I pulled out my phone and used the light to see where the little guy’s head was. Yep. It was stuck. A second later, another man was there to help… and this guy actually had a flashlight! While I held the light and pushed on the chair, he tried to get the baby free. Another guy joined us in the effort and within two minutes, we had the baby out.

After the movie, I shook hands with the first guy and said, “Great job, man.” To which he responded, “I guess we know why we were here today, don’t we?”

Double wow!

I think he was right. That was the reason I was there. Sure, the movie was great, but I can watch it on Netflix next year. I was in that theater for a bigger reason, just like I was running down that road for more than just a morning jog. I was there to catch a moment of perfection… A beautiful sunrise that I may never see again.

We may not always know the why of our situations, but we can be certain that it is there… even if it’s to play a part in someone else’s story.

So… Why are you here?