I wanted to spend the last day of 2017 in my "happy place". I packed up a book, a towel and a chair and jumped into my car. But as I approached my usual beach spot, I kept going...on a whim, I decided that I needed a new perspective. I found myself parking and paying for three hours of unknown.
Hiking is one of my favorite things to do, so off on the trail I went. It wasn't until about half an hour in, that I looked down and realized that I had the wrong shoes and was wearing the wrong clothes. I had no sunscreen, no water and no plan (I also had no map, but if you know me, that wouldn't have helped). I giggled, shrugged and kept on trekking. This is just typical behavior for me. When has being unprepared ever held me back from a challenge? And so...on I went.
While my feet were doing the walking, my brain was doing a lot of thinking. I reflected on how many times over the last two years, my life has mimicked this journey. How many times I didn't know the destination, but just went, anyway. How many times I was not prepared for the thing I was about to do, but figured it out and did it anyway (hopefully well).
On this particular trail, every time I thought I was at the top of this mountain, I discovered more trail. As I climbed higher and higher, I began to lose sight of the top. All I saw was fog. Is it worth it to keep going toward something I can't even see? I ran into a family on the way up and asked the question. The mother's response was this: "It gets clearer as you go up, it is definitely worth it, keep going." Well, there it is. Such is life. These are words that I will tuck in my pocket for later use!
So I did keep going, with every wrap around the mountain, I stopped and took a picture of the ocean, but I also looked back down to see how far I had come. How often do we do this in life? How often do we stop on our journey to gain perspective? To take stock of where we are, where we are going and where we began? If this is not normal practice, let's make it. There is great power in this. Perspective unleashes the power of possibility.
So what happened when I reached my top? I wanted more...a better view. So what did I do? I went off the path, to gain a better perspective. Last time I "off roaded", it lead to a fall, a slide down. I was a bit scraped up and bruised, but I kept going. It is often when we take the unworn road...that we fall, but we also grow. This time, there was no fall...just some really scraped up legs. Worth every scratch, because what I gained was an amazing view, great perspective and a lot of beauty.
I often find myself on these journeys, off the mountain...in life. Trying something new, just to see what happens. Hoping to learn and grow. So far, it has always paid off. Taking the unbeaten path isn't always easy, but often leads to growth. We sometimes can't see the destination through the fog, until we get there. And yes, it is worth the journey...it does pay off to keep on trekking.
Here is my call to action: Next time an opportunity comes your way, don't think...just do. But as you do, stop along the way...look around...look behind...look ahead. Take it all in. It is all important. It is, in fact, what happens during the climb that matters.
Mother, Teacher, Presenter, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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