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"Live life in such a way that every day when your feet hit the floor the devil says 'OH SHIT SHE'S UP!'"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reason. Season. Lifetime.

There is a quote that says: “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  When you know what it is, you will know what to do for that person.”  I often think about this quote.   Each and every one of us impacts and are impacted by another human soul for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

I lived in a number of different places.  From different small towns to different cities, I have moved about 9 times in my life.  Not as many as some, but considering most of those moves occurred after I turned 21, well then it’s a lot.  Each time I moved I tried to look at the new environment and wonder about the people I am going to meet, the friends I’ll make, and the memories yet to be made. 

With each move I worked in different jobs for different companies.  One of my most memorable work moments occurred when I worked for Half Price Books in Dallas, Texas.  My main job was to buy books from the public.  People came in; I reviewed the stacks and made an offer.

One day a woman brought in about a hundred Science-Fiction paperback books.  I went about my normal routine of reviewing the books and I made my offer.  She accepted and as she turned to leave she started to cry.  I hopped around the counter and asked her if she was okay.  She said those books were from her brother’s collection.  He had recently passed away from cancer and she was cleaning out his belongings. 

Yes, of course my heart sunk.  However, I had one of those God-moments and I found the right words.  I told her that what she did might seem like she was giving her brother away or burying him once again.  What I needed for her to know was that someone else would pick up those books and enjoy them as much as her brother did.  That she wasn’t giving him away.  She was sharing a part of him with another person.  And that person would sustain her brother’s memory without them even knowing.  His ending was another person’s beginning.

My words seemed to help.  It was in that moment too, that I realized something as well.  I was there to be the conduit to continue the love of a book, a genre, or an author to the next person who walked in that door.  There were days when I thought I would gag if I saw another John Grisham book pass my buying counter.  After my encounter with that woman I realized that what I did was important and significant.  

I still well up with tears when I think about it.  Ten years later, it remains my favorite paid job I ever had.  We are put in places and moments to make a difference in someone’s life.  People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  But think about the people into whose life you came.  Who did you know for a reason, who did you know for a season, and who will you know for a lifetime?  We don’t walk this earth and not make an impact somewhere at sometime.   

About 10 years later I came across a quote that completely validated my actions with that grieving woman on that fateful day. 
          "Every book, every volume you see has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens."
           ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafron

I found this quote and never knew the author until now. Do you know how much I love his work? Carlos Ruiz Zafron is an eloquent author. His use of words and imagery are far superior than many. 

This discovery today leads me to another quote that has stuck with me. (Of course it is about books.)
          “Sometimes we don't pick the books we read- they pick us.”  It is a quote I picked up from the movie, The Hurricane.  

What are you reading today? What books have made an impact on your life? What author? What genre? Where do you go with books? Where do you hope to go? Where might you never expect to go, but once you are there - you are so very glad you went? Who has touched your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime? Is it me? Am I a reason, a season or a lifetime? I'm not expecting to be any one particular thing, just happy that I am in your life and you are in mine.

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