We all play an important part in the Universal Plan. But it probably isn’t what we think it is.

Years ago, I frequently saw a young man walking along the streets of our town. He had a profound gait impairment, and each step he took appeared to be made with great effort. I imagined how tired he would be by the time he reached his destination.

My caretaking, co-dependent heart felt incredibly sorry for the young man. I felt the urge to do something to fix his difficult life.

One morning when I was out on my daily walk, I came upon the young man sitting on the steps of a church. He appeared to be waiting for someone.

“Can you tell me what time it is?” he asked me in a dignified, self-contained voice.

His request came to me in a lightning bolt of awareness. Despite all my thoughts about wanting to rescue him, in that moment, he needed nothing from me except for one thing: the time.

I glanced at my watch. “It’s 9:15,” I told him.

He nodded and thanked me, then retreated into his own space.

Without knowing it, the young man gave me much more than I gave him: one of the most powerful lessons of my life. I suddenly realized there is no need to strain or over-extend myself in my effort to further the plan of the Universal Intelligence. The part I play is simply to offer what the moment asks from me.

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