I can take any moment, magnify it, and project it into the future, even if my life is a testament to unpredictability. I’m constantly reminded that it is hard to imagine the end of a journey based on any one point along the way.
About two weeks ago, I brought my car into the dealership for service. Getting into the loaner car, I immediately noticed a chewed up pen in the console and a few little candy wrappers on the passenger seat. Yuck. But it was only a loaner and I was in a rush so I drove away without complaint.
Awhile later, when I got out of the car, I glanced into the back seat and saw something sticking out from under the driver’s seat. It was a $20 bill. When I pulled it out, a $5 bill came along with it!
Judging by the cleanliness of the car, it probably belonged to whoever used the car before me, or maybe even before them.
I considered keeping it. I thought about handing the money back to the dealership and asking them to find the previous driver. Maybe I should just give it as a tip to the guy at the dealership.
What I knew was this: It was fun to find, and it wasn’t mine. I decided to give it back to the dealer. Then it is their responsibility and decision to find the owner or keep the money. And if the guy at the dealership kept the money, well, maybe he needed it more than I did. Who am I to judge?
When I returned the car to the dealership, I was greeted by the same very nice man who gave the car to me. I told him that I found $25 under the seat and joked that, if someone had cleaned it, they would have gotten a nice tip. He laughed and said that he would look up the previous driver. I handed the money to him, and I went on my way.
Later, I told the story to my sons. The younger one said, “Why did you give him the money?”
“It wasn’t mine,” I replied.
He looked at me quizzically. “It was once you found it.”
Hmmm. That is another way of looking at it. We let it rest there, though of course I wondered about the rest of his morals, how they were developing and what kind of man he would become.
About a week later, our family plus a friend drove through a giant snowstorm and wandered into an empty Bertucci’s restaurant. As the host led us to our table, I noticed a dime on the floor. (Does NO ONE clean anymore?)
I tapped my son and pointed down to the dime. He looked at me, then picked it up.
We returned to our place behind our group, marching to our table, but he veered off. I figured that he had gone to the bathroom and would be back.
When he returned, I asked, “What was up?”
“I went to give them the dime,” he said. After a pause, he added, “It wasn’t mine.”
Again, no one step can predict the end of the journey, but that one sure felt fine.
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you are feeling fine, or are on your way there.
Love and blessings,
Outside the restaurant: