sometimes, you have to take the first step alone.
a few people backed out of operation hydration this week, and another this morning, leaving three of us to hand out water. i filled my bag with bottles and made my way to the GO station to catch the bus downtown. ten minutes into the ride, however, the bus driver came over the loud speaker and announced that the highway was closed and that we would be rerouted to port credit to take the train. knowing that this would put me behind schedule by almost an hour, i contacted the ladies that were participating to fill them in. sadly, and understandably, they were no longer able to participate due to the time delay. so that left ... me, myself, and i.
truthfully, i was disappointed, and a little discouraged at first. this was supposed to be my 'big break', you know? the beginning of my dream!
but then i looked down and noticed the bag full of water bottles sitting at my feet and it hit me. the show must go on. after all, i spent some time praying this morning that God would lead 'us' to those who needed water and some love today, and even though the 'us' part was taken out of the equation, those i spent time praying for weren't, and neither was God.
so instead of turning around and heading back home to sulk, i got on the train and decided to continue with the mission i set out to do, and here's what i learned along the way:
1) roadblocks are inevitable.
ask anyone who you deem successful and they'll tell you the same thing. every president. CEO. any ball player. your favourite author. you name it. anyone who has ever started something can tell you story after story about things they had to overcome to get where they are today.
the same can be said about you, and the same can be said about me.
i wouldn't be fit for this if i let a little inconvenient detour stop me from doing what i set out to do in the first place.
the truth is, roadblocks can stop you and force you to give up, or they can pave the way for comebacks. the choice was mine today, and the choice will be yours next time you face one.
2) as a leader, you can't just talk the talk; you must walk the walk.
i set out to do things like this for three reasons: one, to help people. two, to teach others that we're no different than the ones we isolate, exclude, look down on, and judge, and that everyone has a story, and three, to assure people that they alone can make a difference by showing them how simple it actually is to meet someone else's need.
i could have easily turned around and went back home after i found out that no one else could make it, and quite frankly, i thought about it, but then my words would have no backing; i can't walk around teaching people that one person can make a difference, and refuse to make one myself when no one else shows up.
3) you can't give away what you don't have.
i had just finished handing out a couple of bottles of water to two funny dudes who were chugging back their tall boys on the street corner [that's a whole other blog on its own], and realized that it had been hours since i had drank anything myself. i was thirsty, and the heat was getting to me, so i drank my last bottle of water. now, before you get all judgey judgey on me, there's a valuable lesson to be learned in even this: you can't take care of others if you don't take care of ... you.
[operation hydration 2 deets coming soon].