The other day as I was scrolling through my social media, I came across a saying that really resonated with me. My mother used to ask me this question but in a different form. The question was “Why do you always insist on taking the hard road?” I was not wise enough to answer her well. However, I think now I can even though she is not with me any longer here on earth. The answer to the question is simply this, “Why do you assume I see two roads.”
As we are on our road of life, sometimes we must take a path that maybe we did not see coming to teach us a lesson that will not only help us, but it might be of benefit to someone else. Sure, that road may be filled with potholes, and danger or even a collision or two. But they are there for a reason.
I know as a child I was not the easiest child to raise. I had my own mind from the time I was a toddler. I always went my own path. I guess I felt like I needed to know things to experience first hand things in order to learn. Did I make bad decisions, did I fall on my face. You bet. Did I disappoint my parents, on more than one occasion. Did I fail myself, you bet I did. Did I disappoint my creator, I have forgotten the times I did. And yet, I learned, sometimes I had to fall in that pothole more than once. I credit my Scot/Irish ancestors with that mindset. But I learned, eventually. For those of you who know the person you see today, I was not always that person. I was shy, timid, felt unworthy, unloved and unaccepted. I would not speak up, nor would I voice an opinion. I felt I had nothing to offer. I strived to be all things to all people and in the end, I lost me. I felt that my words did not matter, that my worth did not matter and that no matter how much I strived, I would never matter. It took the hard road to show me that I mattered, if to no one else but God. I have been called harsh by some, even my own children in the past. Maybe am. I know that if I am asked, I will speak up. If I see someone running out into the road and a truck is on a Collison course with them, I will try to pull them back. That is my road.
The “hard road” has taught me how to make my past experiences a guidepost not a hitching post and that is okay.
The point is this. As humans maybe we only see one road, and maybe that is okay. Maybe our journey will help someone else on their journey down their hard road. What we must remember is that our Creator is always by our side. He always walks with us and we always have a way to get out of those potholes.
As 2018 draws to a close and once again we have a moment to reflect on the year that we will soon see in our rear view mirror, it is time to ask ourselves a question. Are we going to turn the page? Yes, turn the page. You see life is a book of sorts. Each day is a new chapter, a new phase a new beginning. The past is yesterday and the future is tomorrow.
What we have is today and if we don’t turn the page we get stuck in the past which affects our present and future. In fact, if we don’t turn the page we have neither present or future.
Things that happen in our life sometimes can and will create a void – a place where we get stuck because we dread the next page – we become afraid, or the prospect of turning the page is too painful, due to a loss or an illness.
The question we have to ask is this, How do we know how the story goes if we don’t turn the page. How do we know what is next if we don’t turn the page. The answer is simple we don’t know. We waste time that we could be using to shine by refusing to turn the page.
So, with all things of the past year in mind, all the tragedies, triumphs, successes and not so good successes, do not be afraid to turn the page.
“Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” Which is translated, “seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future” in other words, turn the page. You might be surprised.
The other day I was mindlessly watching a movie and there was a line from that movie that stuck in my head. The line goes like this, “Life is an occasion, rise to it.”
That line hit me like a thunderbolt. The more I thought about it the more it made sense to me.
Life is an occasion. Webster defines the word occasion as “A particular time or instance of an event.” That is exactly what our life is. A Particular time or instance of an event.
Once that event ends it never comes around again. It can be recalled to a certain extent in memories from others, however, that either fades with time or becomes embellished as facts dim with the re-telling.
As I thought about this statement, it hit me why don’t I rise to that event, why don’t I make my event count? Sure, I am grieving for my husband and my other family members, sure I am sad; however, my life is an occasion, it is an event, time to rise to it.
Then I went one step further and thought about those around me and how I could share that statement and challenge each of them to rise to the occasion. To challenge them to do things they have thought about doing but were afraid to do for whatever reason. Because FEAR is only False Evidence that Appears Real.
There was a time I was afraid to put myself out there. There was a time I would have never walked into a new congregation by myself. When I was told I was too stupid to write, I almost didn’t. But you see, Life is an occasion, rise to it means exactly that. We have no idea what we will find when we do. The things we can accomplish, the joy we bring others or to ourselves. The love we can radiate around us and the encouragement we give others just by rising to the occasion.
I am sure many of us have asked ourselves, “I wonder if….” I asked myself that question far too many times to count, and the epiphany I learned is this, if we don’t ask the question, we never know the answer.
Life is an occasion, rise to it. Ask those questions, then go and out and do those things that you always wondered if you could do. Dare to attend that event. Dare to make it happen. Rise to the occasion. Make a statement. Use those talents that you have been blessed with and have never tapped into. I think you will not only surprise yourself, you will find that you encourage others to rise to the occasion as well. All it takes it that first step.
Life is an occasion – Rise to it!!!!