Monday, August 05, 2013

Finding the path

Not a great day today. Didn't get as much done as I wanted to, felt bad most of the day, and then heard some terrible bad news about a situation confronting a family who is dear to me. After days like this, I find myself looking around for good things, anything happy, little meaningful things, victories of any sort to throw against the bleakness.

Good things:
- I walked a mile and a half at the gym and did okay. I will hold at a mile and a half this week and get my legs used to it.
- I took a photo for my Year in Photos project. It's below. Not a great night photo, but probably the best my little point-n-shoot camera can do.
- Updated the website for the local writers group.
- I watched Longmire, which is one of my favorite TV shows.
- Updated another website for a friend.
- Did a couple loads of laundry ... okay, yeah, I'm scrounging the bottom of the barrel on that one, but it is productive.
- And I'm still on pace for my Personal New Year Resolutions. So far, so good.

Admittedly, that’s not a gangbuster list of awesomeness, but life isn’t a gangbuster of awesomeness usually. Life is what it is: sometimes up, sometimes down, a lot of time in the middle. It’s learning to live in the middle that so many of us find hard. We rise to the occasion when confronting a crisis or an emergency. We behave brilliantly, bravely, and benevolently. But it’s the day-to-day life that’s hard and grinds on us. Most people break at the endlessly getting out of bed each morning to confront life’s little annoyances and battles. That’s what we find tough. That’s how we know if we’re a sprinter or a long distance runner.

I hope you’re the latter, because sprinters may be fast, but this life is long. It the ones who can keep going, step by step, mile by mile, day by day, year by year... they finish the race. I hope I’m a long distance runner.

I try to be. I try to stay busy. I try to keep putting one foot in front of another. Keep my eyes on the road. Don’t get distracted. Don’t lose focus. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose courage. Don’t fail. Believe, believe, believe.

It’s a lot of pressure, and I think that’s why some people falter. They drink or take drugs or have crazy sex. They cheat on their spouses, neglect their children, and waste their lives in cheap pleasures, seeking a thrill to fill the holes in their lives. They think happiness is a destination rather than the journey itself.

It’s learning to take joy in the journey. We have to do that if we’re going to survive and flourish. It’s the secret to happiness, to contentment, and to fulfillment. For some – like me – finding that joy is easier with God’s help. Others choose another path, but finding that path is essential.

It's how we become fully human.

No comments: