Connect the Dots

Earlier today I was explaining to a colleague that I like to think of life as a series of dots on a piece of paper. The vast majority are a particular color — gray, for example — while a handful of dots, maybe five or so, are purple. They stand out, and you can clearly see how they connect. It’s easy to draw a line between them.

If we were to live in that paper world, however, and if the dots were all around us as though we were standing in a forest of trees, the dots that once stood out might no longer be obvious. A gray one might be in the way, and one of those purple ones may be obscured.

Why all the dots? When we look back on our lives, a series of events that might have seemed random and meaningless actually adds up to a distinct path — a trajectory, if you will — that we are meant to be on. When we’re among the trees or our gray dots, those purple ones don’t seem to add up to much when they happen; we have to get past an obstacle in order for the purple ones to come into view. But time adds perspective, brings understanding and shines a light on a course that may have been unknown to us all along. I love that light.

The thing I struggle with is knowing what my path will be. This isn’t to say that I need to know or that I’m unhappy — I’m simply curious about what it will be when I look back on it all. Where I’ll go, with whom I’ll walk. Some things have made sense so far in my life, and I’ve seen how a couple of those purple dots have connected; I’ve seen how they add up to something bigger.

Other things have me baffled, and I have no idea why they happened or were part of my life. I’m looking forward to the day when those things make sense.

Then there are those things I know that I’ll never understand…and that’s OK by me, because that’s just the way the ball bounces.

Tonight I’m thankful for knowing that everything adds up in time, and that there are defining moments in our lives which have meaning and purpose in the long run. It’s not to say that a life is meaningless in between points A and Z, but it is to say that while we’re going about our days and our usual dots, we should keep our eyes open and our minds receptive to the purple ones and their impact on our worlds, our well-being, our livelihood and on others, as well.

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