Today was a typical spring break day. I woke up at noon, ate some breakfast, and realized I didn’t have any shampoo for a shower, so I headed to the store. As I arrived at Safeway, a man was sitting outside the door playing guitar, singing Beatles songs. I immediately thought I needed to do something for him, so I went inside and bought some shampoo, and decided I’d get him a coffee. As I walked outside to ask if he wanted a coffee, however, I chickened out and left, while making myself feel OK by telling myself I would have interrupted him in the middle of Eleanor Rigby. As I left the parking lot and was on my way home however, the feeling came back. I needed to do something for this man. That’s when I realized I had to return a movie to the Redbox. . . which was inside of Safeway. Chance number 2. I headed home, picked up the movie, and made my way back to Safeway. This time I didn’t chicken out, and he wanted coffee, so I bought it for him and brought it out, and we started talking. He told me he’s from New York City, and he used to play guitar in the subway stations. He got laid off from his job, so he decided to hitchhike out to California. He was an aspiring songwriter, and told me about two brothers he knew that wrote “Like a Virgin” for Madonna and how filthy rich they are now. He was now on his way back from California, and got stuck in Laramie for a few days because of the weather. He got a hotel room for the weekend, but was going stir crazy sitting still that long, so he figured he might as well try and make some money. Later he was gonna go to the library and find some sheet music to learn some more songs.
After about 5 to 10 minutes of conversation, I left, and couldn’t help be a little bit jealous of this man. He had no other options, so he’s chasing a dream, hoping to write one big song to sell to someone, and live off of it the rest of his life. I also couldn’t help but think of how lonely that life would be. Traveling the country, alone, every so often getting a ride with a stranger. I thought to myself I want to be able to help people like that more. I thought about my dreams and ambitions; about how much further I could possibly go if my dreams were in place. I could have invited him somewhere, a place to sit and talk, out of the cold, yet a place where he’d still be close to the action, able to pull out his guitar and make some money. I thought of how I want to do what he does; probably between 35 to 45 years old, he still has the resilience to chase a dream. I want that resilience. I want to see something I want for my life, and never give up until it’s mine. I want to find something I love, and try to make a career out of it. Something that has a bigger influence than money, although money can do great things. I want to affect people’s hearts and personalities. I want to think of everything I do with the view of how it will affect eternity and God’s kingdom. God has a plan for everything; even for guitar playing hitchhikers.