Picked Up and Moved

Struggling to cross the vast expanse of concrete, an earthworm was attempting to cross the sidewalk. He was inching along, but forward progress was difficult. This little guy is made for smooth dirt, not rough pavement.

From my vantage point, I knew the grass on the other side was where he was headed and I wanted to help him get there easier.   Placing him in the grass would be easy for me to do and it’d save him a lot of effort. He could get on with digging in the dirt instead of struggling on the concrete.

When I attempted to pick him up, he didn’t view me as help.  He began wriggling every which way trying to escape. He was really hard to get a hold of, but I finally gently got him in my hand. I’m sure he was just reacting and defending himself.  He didn’t know that my intention was to take him to a better place. All he saw was he being taken to out of his familiar element to who knows where.

He continued to fight as I gently placed him into a grassy area.  Once he realized he was in the grass, he settled down and began to dig into the dirt.  He was in his element and could now easily do what he needed to do.

Have you ever experienced this? I have. I’ve struggled and made slow progress because I wasn’t in the most effective place. Tons of effort was expended with very little results.  Why is this so hard? I’d ask. Please send me help!  Of course, I’d expect it to be in a particular form; someone to help me, maybe smooth out the sidewalk, give me wheels so I can roll, etc.

True to divine order, help always comes as I least expect it but as I totally need it. It’s that unexpected which catches me off guard. “No I don’t want to do that” or my perennial favorite “I can’t see how that will work out”.  I resist what I don’t understand…..

In spite of my verbal and physical protests, I’m just picked up and moved to where I need to be.  Just as an earthworm is out of his element being in a closed hand, in the air, so I’m often out of my element when I’m moved. Guess that’s why they call it faithJ

And in the perfect time, I’m placed exactly where I need to be and my soul instantly knows it. I’m calm, I feel at home, and fulfilled. I realize this is where I needed to be all along. I just didn’t get here the way I expected.

The lesson for me is this: guidance and help aren’t often what I expect them to be and often take me way out of my comfort zone. In the end, I am exactly where I need to be.

Experiences make us Rich

I’m watching a dear friend pack up and head off to a small town in the mountains. She doesn’t have a job yet, just family members there. She’s telling me all the cool things she’ll be doing, which ironically are the same things I’d like to be doing.

The difference is I’m not willing to give up my good paying job to go do it. Yeah, I’m not thrilled with what I do, in fact most of the time I’m totally bored. I hold on because the money is good. She’s letting go and embarking on a life of her dreams.

As I was sulking around the house feeling quite a bit envious, a thought immediately popped into my head. Riches are measured in experiences, not how much money you have. Say what? Where’d that come from?

Okay, going with that thought, I looked back at the things I remember the most: climbing a fourteener, hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim, camping at the Great Sand Dunes, climbing Klingmon’s Dome, having lunch in Cades Cove, waiting for the clouds to clear at Mt. St. Helens, walking through the redwood forests in Northern California, whale watching in Monterrey Bay, flying co-pilot on a skydiver jump run, 4wheeling Blanca Peak, and the list goes on. Every time I think about any of those, I smile and remember good times.

Now I think about the raises I received, the occasional bonus, etc. Hmmm, I remember a few of them, but most are forgotten. I do remember the promotions and how exciting that was. Why? Because I had more money to spend on trips!

Think about when you sit around with friends. What makes a memorable evening? The sharing of stories that make you laugh, cry, and touch your soul. That is what makes us truly rich.

I’m not ready to quit my job just yet, but a change of focus is definitely in order from this side of the keyboard. A little shorter work day and more focus on enjoying life because a life well lived is the best riches ever.

Turn Left at the Next Intersection

“Turn left at the next intersection”.  What?  Why is the GPS taking me that way? That’s not how I arrived here and I’m pretty sure that’s the wrong direction.  Billions of dollars and years of satellite precision mapping beamed to my dashboard and I’m saying it’s wrong.  Of course, I know I’m right.

On the way in, the GPS flawlessly guided me into the far reaches of the Everglades via crowded interstates and around road construction. For the route home, it’s telling me to turn left in the middle of nowhere.

The road appears to head further away from civilization. I don’t have a printed map handy so I can see the big picture. Before I follow, I want to know where this little gadget is taking me! It’s not led me astray yet, but  I still feel more comfortable if I can see the big picture.

What the hell……I took the left turn and headed down a rural two lane road that lead me through more of the Everglades. The speed limit was only 55mph and very little traffic made it a scenic, relaxing drive. Why didn’t we use this road earlier, this is nice! At the next intersection, I don’t question as it directed me to another, scenic, unfamiliar road. Eventually the GPS led me back to the crowded, fast paced freeways and I knew exactly where to go.

Daily in my prayers and meditation, I’ll ask for direction or clarity. Often I get it and of course, like my response to the GPS unit, I’m prone to say “that’s not the right way to go”. Again, I’m pitting my own experience against thousands of years and millions of people before me. I must like impossible odds.

Just like the GPS, often the guidance takes me where I don’t think it should but in the end it is just what I needed. Over the years, I can say it’s always been right; when I followed it that it is. There are plenty of times I do know exactly what to do or where to go. It’s those times I ask for an answer and then ignore the answer is when I end up lost. Just because I can’t see the big picture, doesn’t mean the answer is wrong.

Maybe that’s the lesson after all; I should follow the guidance that’s given, even if I don’t see how it will get me where I need to be.