Pick Up –
This afternoon it was hot. So hot that I was struggling to walk up a hill on my exercise route. As I labored to make it up a man in an old pick-up truck pulled up beside me and asked; “Need a lift?” I smiled, thanked him and replied; “No thank you. Just trying to get in shape.” He nodded and drove off. It was nice of the man to stop and ask but it also brought up images of stories I’ve read on the news about people hitchhiking, accepting a ride and never being heard from again.
We live in a place and time when even genuine offers of help are looked on with suspicion. I don’t like that this world has made me more dubious, overly cautious, hesitant to see an act of kindness as anything less than gracious.
I don’t know how we turn it around. I’m not sure what to do to make the world more hospitable and less hostile. I think it starts with laying aside our fears and living free. I believe we need more acceptance and less aggression.
Or…maybe we can’t and a better world is a dream. I guess it’s up to all of us to determine if dreams do come true.
My Siberian Husky, Trooper, is a nut. He’s always in a hurry to go somewhere, fast! He feels left out if you leave him inside while you do a task outside. He wants to be in on everything I do, tagging along, “supervising.” He’s especially not fond of being chained up when I use the riding mower to cut the lawn.
The reason I place him on the chain out-of-the-way is that he wants to be near me. His desire for closeness results in him being in front, on the side and behind the mower. Its dangerous and so he’s put in a safe place until I finish. However, he doesn’t understand the reason so he expresses his displeasure by pulling the chain as far as it will go and then standing on his hind legs and howls, loudly! If you’ve never heard a Husky howl, click here for a few YouTube videos of Huskies getting their howl on! (https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=husky%20yelling) I can hear his protestations over the lawn mower and ear plugs. In spite of my empathy for his plight I know the reason he’s there and, until the proper time, his screaming doesn’t dissuade my resolution.
Wisdom teaches us that limits and boundaries in life are necessary. There are times when we want to go further, harder, reach the summits of our dreams and desire yet something seems to hold us back from achieving what we so desperately want. We complain, scream, cite unfairness and simply don’t understand why we can’t have everything. Perhaps we can’t see the whole picture. Maybe there’s a danger we can’t see. Possibly acquiring our highest aspiration would lead us down a path which would threaten us and all we hold dear.
This morning I had a presentation in Nashville, TN. I left with plenty of time to spare, didn’t encounter any wrecks, traffic jams, everything went smoothly and I arrived early. I took my time getting out of the truck, making sure everything needed was in my bag and headed into the lobby. Once inside there was a line to the receptionist and waiting patiently it finally became my time to ask where the room I was looking for was located. I said; “Good morning,” and then asked for directions. A confused look came over her face and I quickly figured out I was in the wrong place. Not just the wrong lobby, but the wrong street and the wrong section of town. I scurried outside, hopped back in the truck and discovered my mistake. I had put the wrong street in the GPS. I double checked my calendar, typed in the correct address and it was fifteen miles away! Yikes! I called my co-presenter and told her what happened and I would be there as fast as possible. After arriving again, this time at the right building, I hurried in. I was only ten minutes late but it felt much longer. My co-presenter began her section of the program and I took several deep breaths trying to center myself. When it was my turn I spoke to the group about fathers, everything went fine and I was thankful to actually be where I belonged.
Wisdom teaches us that we have ideas and certainties of where we need to go on the road of life. We look at our gifts and talents and assure ourselves who, where and what we are meant to be. However, we are often not the best judge of where our lives can be used best. To be centered, to hold our dreams and desires loosely and allow the path of life to unfold, to be led not where we think we need to go but where we actually belong.
I spoke with a man this week who seems to always be mad. His temper flares up at the slightest provocation, angry, hurtful words are used as a weapon to hurt those closest to him and many he cares for can’t stomach to be around him for very long. “If only (insert name, group of people) would/wouldn’t do (insert behavior) then I wouldn’t get so angry!” I pointed out to him that others are not the cause of his caustic personality. “You decide! What your reaction will be to things that frustrate, confuse, irritate and drive you crazy is your choice.”
Its easy to blame others, circumstances, for the hatred, loneliness, grudges, judgemental attitude we carry in our hearts. We want someone or something to be responsible for our unrealized dreams, ruptured relationships and life not being the way we desire it to be. Only when we become self aware enough to look inside of ourselves will we find the source and the cure for what ails us.