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An Unexpexted Shove Into The Future


Ghost stories bring to mind creaking hinges, gloomy basements, lost souls and apparitions. Not so this time. In fact, there was no ghost at all in the ghostly sense. But there was something invisible that didn't hesitate to give me a good stout shove when it counted. Perhaps this will be of interest to some of you.

It was early in 1979 as I recall. I had worked at a large mid-western zoological park for 11 years as a zookeeper. It was a city civil service position with a good retirement and decent income. It was a good job if you liked that sort of thing. I had outgrown the position, although I had been very interested in reptiles, which was the area where I had spent most of my time.

Political changes in leadership had occurred in the city, and major adjustments were being made in all city departments. It had also been made clear that some employees should not expect a promising future. Given my loss of professional interest and shifting political winds, my course was clear. It was time to move on.

Although I worked full time and had a part time job, I had gone to college at night. I graduated just in time to start putting in job applications. I also maintained my military status by remaining in the reserve components. My commanding officer had applied for a position in government and suggested I apply as well, which I did. I also applied to return to active duty for training in a restricted specialized field and was accepted.

I resigned my position at the zoo. My last day at work came, and at the end of the day I crossed the parking lot on foot. My destination was the time clock as I was required to punch out. As I made the 60 yard walk I began to have doubts about quitting my job. I was married and had 2 young children. I had grown up in poverty and well remembered how hard that experience was. I didn't want my children to suffer if my plans didn't work out as I hoped. I began to think about withdrawing my resignation when the unexpected happened, taking me by complete surprise.

A hand shoved me forward. It was across the width of my back. I could feel the fingers and palm, wrist up and finger tips down. It was not so hard as to make me lose my footing, but it certainly urged me forward without any doubt. I could feel the material of my jacket compress against my back.

I snapped around to see who the prankster was. I expected to see the guys laughing over their last day at work practical joke. There was no one there. I turned and headed for the time clock, my mind trying to grasp this in some logical way.

It happened again. The second shove not so firm as the first, but definitely there. I glanced over my shoulder at nothing and speeded up. I took this as a favorable sign and never looked back at the job I left behind.

As I write this the image of a mother duck herding an errant duckling comes to mind. I had been moved along in a no-nonsense way in a specific direction for my own good.

Everything worked out favorably and I had a far better career than had I stayed a zookeeper. The folks who remained city employees ended up with a failed retirement system that paid 10 cents on the earned retirement dollar. I feel badly for them and know that I was lucky to have escaped their fate.

I have no idea who or what pushed me that day in the parking lot. Perhaps you do.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, MrRiggs, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2018-01-17)

That's quite a story. Thank you for submitting it.

You have brought to mind the two questions I have when this sort of thing happens:

Who is it that watches over you (us) as you/we make our way through life?

Who is it that loves you (us) so much that they would do this for you (us)?

I don't expect you to have the answer, Mavvey, but I bet you would like to know. I know I want to know. Perhaps someone who reads this will know.

Welcome to YGS. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Mavvey (1 stories) (3 posts)
7 years ago (2018-01-17)
I feel like guardian entities/spirits exist to do just this - give you a nudge in the right direction, show you what you're doing is right and so on... My experience isn't totally similar, but in ways it sort of is.

When I was in my younger teen years (12, 13ish) I'd walk our family dog down the street, into the park, and through a hole in the fence that seperated the park and train tracks. On the other side of the tracks was a creek, and my sisters apartment building a little ways up. My grandparents ALWAYS chastised me for wearing both my headphones when walking alone, and I never listened.

So that's what I was doing, listening to music and walking my dog to my sisters to say hi before heading back home for supper - it was near dusk, but it was still light enough out to see everything. I was just ducking through the hole in the fence when something grabbed my sweater. I freaked, and my dog began barking (at me cause I had screamed a little) because the park by my house was not only ALWAYS vacant but I didn't live in the safest part of town when I was younger... I felt like I was in danger.

But when I spun around, no one was there. I stood for a few moments, shaking it off and kept going. My one ear bud was out and I slowly pushed myself through the hole in the fence, eyes looking for someone or something - and as I went to head across the tracks, moving to pop my earbud back in I heard the loudest, most blood curdling scream call my name, of all things. (Mind you, my name isn't the easiest to pronounce so it couldn't have been a mistake.) I couldn't discern whether it was male or female, but it stopped me dead in my tracks.

That's when the train, literal seconds later flew by on the tracks. A bullet train, silent as death, you'd never hear it coming. It was the first one ever introduced to my area then, it was on its testing week. I had no idea, normally you can FEEL the trains in my town coming so it never bothered me to cross with my earphones in... But had that hand not pulled me back or that voice not called out for me, my dog and I would have been dead, no doubt about it.

I have never worn earphones in since then, and crossing train tracks gives me major anxiety now. But I'm alive, and to me that's all that matters.
MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2018-01-11)
Well, MaggyMay_Not, you are in for a treat. I'm about to write a story that will illustrate what happens when the nudge, push or shove is ignored.

The things I write about have happened to me personally. I do not hesitate to record my experiences for two reasons. First and foremost, I want people to know what is possible as we journey through life. I suspect that there are a great many people who may not be aware of what exists within the realm of reality. In truth, there is more to the human experience than the physical world visible to the naked eye.

The second reason is more selfish. I have wanted to put my encounters in print for years. Some experiences are decades old. It is wonderful to be getting this done. I feel as though the proverbial weight has been lifted. You see, in 2015 I had a dream in which I was told with clarity that I would pass between 2016 and 2019. It remains to be seen how accurate that dream will prove to be. On the mark or not, I just want this project done.

Your assessment of my personal traits is correct. From you I would expect nothing less. You have quite a gift.

I would be a pompous fool to take this opportunity to bore you with the details of my background. Just consider me an average geezer. Those who know me might describe me as somewhat less than average

What wasn't average was my father's behavior, as he seemed to work earnestly in an apparent attempt to beat me to death as a young child. My lot in life was hunger and poverty; my wardrobe the clothing I stood in. Johnny Cash's recording about "A Boy Named Sue" comes to mind. I learned to stand my ground.

Years later, my life had totally reversed itself. I lived and worked with substantial prestige and privilege.

How does one go from one station in life to the other? Yes, committed and stubborn to be sure. Hard work? Of course. Willing to brawl and stand my ground to the death? Yes, I have done both. But those things are modest personal accomplishments.

The real reason life has taken this course is the guiding hand that nudges, shoves, pokes and, when merited, punishes. Put another way, we are not the totally independent actors we think we are.

Having a bit of an independent and stubborn nature has evidently required shoves rather than subtlety. Perhaps it is my Scots-Irish ancestry. I do know that I continue to marvel at the mysteries, complexities and interconnected nature of the human experience.
MaggieMay_Not (15 stories) (106 posts)
7 years ago (2018-01-10)
MrRiggs - As a person who gets nudges all the time, this actually made me laugh out loud. It's good to know that someone else is getting strong guidance. I've often thought I needed a firm hand because I was prone to seeing more paths than are good for me... But having read your stories and comments, I think in your case it's more like you get the strong nudge because you are just stubborn enough to go your own way and ignore the subtle...

Really I am still smiling.

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2018-01-03)

Never give up. Do not be disheartened. It does not matter how many failures, rejections or setbacks you experience. Your goal is just one "Yes." It is that "Yes" that will change the course of your life.

Something came to mind when I read your post. I had never considered this before. You, in a way, have just changed my life. I now understand that each attempt and failure helps to steer you in the direction you are supposed to go. Each setback points you toward your true destination. When the time is right you will arrive where you are supposed to be.

Than you for your guidance. Everything just fell into place.

So do not quit trying to reach your goal. Better yourself while you reach for your destination or dream. What helped me was improving my educational qualifications, which helped open doors.

Life contains many surprises. There is no telling what awaits you in your future. Never underestimate yourself and dare to dream. Have courage and heart, have a dream.

I'm available to you at anytime if you have questions.

OktaviaObinger (2 stories) (4 posts)
7 years ago (2018-01-03)
This is absolutely incredible! My guess is that your guides gave you the assurance you needed at that moment! I feel my heart warms at reading this story, i'm glad everything went well. I wish someday I will have much experience in life like you do.

I'm currently experiencing a lot of setbacks, sometimes I kind of lose hope, but i'll try even harder. We're are not alone and guidance will be granted in time of need, hehe.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story ❤
MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
Hello lady-glow. Thank you for reading my story. It isn't much in the way of ghostly tales. It did get my attention, however, and I still wonder what pushed me on my way.

You asked me about sharing my NDE. I wrote up something about one NDE segment on the Spiritual topics page of YGS. It has not been published as of yet. If it makes the cut for publication you might find it to be of interest.


MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
Ahhh, Melda. Not so contradictory as you might think. Lizards and Geckos eat bugs, a good thing. They usually have good manners and can be fun to watch.

Your snakes and crocs can be pretty unpleasant. I once had a big American crocodile try to convert me into lunch. I'm still a little annoyed about that.

If I lived where you do I would not be a reptile fan either.

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
Yes, Jubeele, someone wanted to get my attention. That something was invisible and strong enough to move me forward 3 short, quick steps, then strike again for insurance.

So who or what was it? I surely do not know. My hope is some wise and learned person steeped in spiritual knowledge can answer that question. Then I can ask how they know what they know, and my mind can be put to rest.

I expect to hear guardian angel or spirit guide offered as the source of the heavy handed encouragement. Guardian angel was a term I heard as a young child and seem to have outgrown. Spirit guide is a term I have heard but have no knowledge of. I am open minded but skeptical.

You presented me with a logical and astute summary that I certainly agree with. I thank you for that. As I observe you from half a world distant I believe you to be much gifted. The gifted that have managed to retain a heart can be a delight to know. I will continue to be attentive as you dispense wisdom with grace.

I have to tell you that your stories have made me homesick for Asia. Though not my real home, I felt more at home there than I can describe. What a wonderful lifestyle.

Thank you for your input.

MrRiggs (7 stories) (102 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)

Thank you for reading this story. There are no ghosts but there was something invisible behind me that was pretty strong. There was no mistaking what happened.

I never expected to have the story provide guidance to anyone. Perhaps there is something in it that can be helpful to someone.

It seems there was somewhere I was supposed to go or something I was supposed to do. If that applied to me I think it would apply to others. I hope you find your path.

I have been to Thailand 5 or 6 times and once lived in Rangoon. Hearing from you reminds me how much I miss Thailand. Perhaps we will meet sometime and we can talk about the path to your future.

lady-glow (16 stories) (3165 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
Whoever pushed you that day, they sure deliver their message in a very no nonsense way.

Great experience, thanks for sharing.
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
MrRiggs - I don't think anybody knows who pushed you in the parking lot on that auspicious day. The only one who could have any idea is you yourself. Obviously a push in the right direction 😁

I might just add, although I am a huge animal lover and cannot even bring myself to hate reptiles, I'm terrified of them. I do however love lizards and geckos. They're welcome to perch on my lap anytime they like. Contradictory much?

Regards, Melda
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
Hi MrRiggs, I believe that we are all guided by a Higher Power in one way or another. Some of us can sense that "still, small Voice", while others require a much firmer touch. Like a shove against the small of the back.

I think Someone wanted to get your attention. There was just enough force to get the point across but not so that you'd lose your balance and fall. The timing of that experience was more than fortuitous. You have sensed much the same.

Many of us will experience turning points in our lives when we stand at the crossroads, wondering on the right path to take. Then circumstances will appear to help us determine our decision. We just need to listen carefully and open our eyes to the possibilities when they present themselves. Haven't you said to yourself: "It was the right thing to do at the time?" Not in a self-justifying way, but with a quiet certainty. Because a soft, definite "click" of a key being turned will sound in our hearts when we have been true to ourselves.

It all comes down to having faith of the heart. You had the courage to follow your heart and it led you in the best direction for your future.

Thank you for sharing this experience.
cloudy (7 stories) (39 posts)
7 years ago (2017-12-30)
Hi MrRiggs, Thank you for sharing this story, I liked it very much! I have often hoped for some sort of sign when faced with difficult life choices, in fact I am at a crossroad right now trying to figure out in what direction to head. It really gets more difficult when you have to also concider your childrens future! How wonderful to get such clear guidance! But then again, maybe no such clear sign has come to me yet because I'm alredy heading in the right direction, I hope so! 😆 thanks again for sharing! Being a zookeeper has always been one of my low key dreams.

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