The coffee left much to be desired, but a meeting at Panera about this time two years ago changed everything.
It was with a guy I didn’t know well, and honestly, I’m not quite sure how we ended up meeting there that morning.
He’s a business coach, an older guy who has seen more stories unfold than I have.
I had a great gig, one most would be thrilled to do the rest of their lives. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my job, I just craved something more.
And the turmoil of trying to be happy on the shore when I knew the ocean was where I wanted to be was eating me up.
Over a cup of very average coffee, I spilled my guts to this relative stranger.
I told him about our family dynamics, the marriage we were working on, the 5 kids we were parenting, this dream of a business of mine, and sometimes what felt like a disease of too many ideas.
He didn’t talk much, but when he did, he asked direct and profound questions.
Like a surgeon’s scalpel, he cut to the core of what was really happening.
In short, he helped me to see.
I was so consumed with worry (what if it won’t work), guilt (who’d quit this kind of job again), fear (what if the money doesn’t show up), that I needed a guide.
I still get chills thinking about what he told me after his line of questioning. It doesn’t happen often, but it felt like God was in that booth with us that morning, speaking.
After hearing about the prospect of the business and the longing for my marriage and family, he said with a quiet confidence,
“It’s time to go.”
The entire conversation up to that point felt like an effort by him to tune an old guitar. Each string close but not quite in harmony. Plucking around the edges until, boom, at last…it sounded perfect.
It was time to go.
Your story isn’t mine, and I’m certainly not qualified to give anonymous random life advice, but I imagine there’s an old guitar string of yours that is begging to be tuned.
An old friendship, a hobby, a new business venture, a hard conversation.
Who knows what?
Well, I bet you do.
It’s time to go.