Making Connections

Earlier an old memory popped into my mind, a memory from high school when I worked at a local restaurant, Grandma’s Kitchen, that was known for the home baked breads and desserts. As a server, I always looked forward to the tips and this was a nice summer evening when people were more interested in cooking out than eating at a restaurant, so traffic, and therefore tips were light that evening.

Approaching closing time, I had a table clear out. Not being busy, I was quick to bus the table so that I could get out of there quicker. As I found the tips on the table, I noticed a track with them. Now I know what many of you are thinking–“Must have been an awful monetary tip if there was a track involved.” To be honest, I don’t remember. What I do remember is thinking, “I should let them know about a local place they may be interested in seeing.”

This was probably the summer between by junior and senior years of high school. Since the summer before my seventh grade year I spent most weekend nights hanging out with friends at a place called The Barn. Based on the track the party left and the conversation I had made with them over the meal, I thought they may want to check it out on their way home (they had driven about 30 miles north for their dinner that evening). I rushed out to the hostess station where they would pay for their meal to catch them and told them about this place that meant a lot to me. I don’t know why I thought it would interest them, but I told them anyway. After telling them, I was excited to get out of work and rush over to The Barn to see if they stopped by.

Why? I wasn’t going to increase my tip that evening (I still don’t know if it needed increased, anyway). As I look back on it, I wanted to make a new connection or introduce someone new to something of which they were unaware. Why? Not sure.

What I am sure of is this. I enjoy connecting people and resources. As I look back over my life, this is an odd memory that is seared in my mind. I was excited! I rushed through my closing tasks and got out of there to see if the connection was made. I was excited! I still get excited when I am able to help people make new connections–that is something that drives and energizes me! This spring I had a similar opportunity to connect local leaders of religious organizations with a resource that is available to them. One organization jumped on the connection and it is making a difference. This excites me!

As I am traveling down this path that I am on, these trail markings are important to help me find the destination. They are definite signs to say “Go this way, Nick.” They tell me that I will do great in a role where I can connect people and resources or opportunities to help them succeed in reaching their goal.

As you travel your path, what are the things that excite and energize you? What do those things say about where you are headed?

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