God led me to Daniel. Seriously. I’d like to say I am making this up, but I’m not. Daniel is real. Sent by God. An answer to a prayer. But that is just the beginning of his story.
It happened as I was struggling to find “the right person” to meet. My daughter and I were walking our dog in the park chatting it up with all sorts of people (mostly dog lovers) but none of them seemed like “the one.” As it was getting late and I was beginning to panic, I did the one thing I knew to do. I prayed, “God help me find the right person.”
I looked up and saw Daniel. Technically I saw a set of drums first. And thought to myself, “Who plays drums in the park?” You know who does? Daniel does. He practices three hours a day, and likes to come to the park to practice and clear his head. As any of my musician friends can attest, when you find a drummer playing alone you invite him (or her) to join your band.
Daniel doesn’t just play drums for the squirrels, dog lovers and joggers. He also plays professionally, as both a touring and studio musician for hire. He even let it slip that he plays for his church. Really? Yeah, God’s that good.
During this social experiment, I have notices most people tend to be a little thrown off when you just walk up and introduce yourself. In spite of explaining to them why you are awkwardly holding your hand out to meet them, they still think you’re trying to sell them something. Which might be why it can be hard to meet the “right person.”
At this point in our conversation, it only seemed apropos to confess to Daniel that I too was a Christian, and a minister, and told him the reasoning behind this project. (And this blog site.)
The more I learned about Daniel, the more I realized we had more in common than just our faith. For example, he too is married to an actress, a woman he got to know as a friend first before moving into the dating scene. “There was something alive inside her. I wanted to get to know her depth.” Like my wife and I, Daniel and his wife share a faith story, share the same political views, and hold dear the same values. They too live in Sherman Oaks. He is a musician as well, and has a kind soul. He is hospitable and welcoming. And smiles.
Unlike me, Daniel is originally from Seattle. He is the oldest (not the youngest) in his family. “I am a miracle child.” He started life with a 10% chance of surviving. In fact, he was named after the legendary Biblical character, Daniel, who survived the lion pit. He attributes this first two weeks of life is what gave him his survival instinct, the very thing that gives him his drive today. Combine that with his faith, it’s easy to see why he “doesn’t let anything get in his way.”
We were both happy that this #KNOWvember challenge is what brought us both together. Even though we both might argue it was God’s Divine intervention. “I wasn’t supposed to be here,” he said. “I was going to go home an hour ago, but my wife was still working so I stayed.” Really, God? You kept him out here for me? Thank you.
After meeting Daniel I walked into the rhythm of life. The weight that had caused me to worry was gone. The joy that had been missing was found. The evening sky now alive with light bursting from my soul. Thank you, God. Like all the great drummers, your timing was impeccable.
As I contemplate my next challenge I thought about what Daniel taught me, and it believe it’s something everyone in the world could use. “Don’t let anything get in your way.” Just because the right opportunity isn’t as obvious as you might like it, or just because there are hurtles to overcome or panic attacks that pops up, don’t let that noise distract you or get in your way. Simply pray and let God lead you to where you need to be. Being present with the Divine at all times allows us to see the Divine in all things. Even drummers.