The crisp, fall air filled my lungs as I took a deep breath. I slowly looked around me, drinking in the beauty as if it were a large mug filled to the brim with cinnamon-infused delectable coffee. The colors were spectacular – greens, crimsons, golden yellow, sunset orange – all mingled with the…
“Mom! I’m tired! My feet hurt. I want to go back. I don’t want to keep walking!”
My musings were interrupted by the sound of my daughter voicing her thoughts.
We were in the Blue Ridge Mountains enjoying the natural beauty around us, taking a hike through the woods as a family.
I think the thing that amused me the most about my daughter’s comments was the fact that I knew it was quicker to keep going forward to arrive back at out starting point than it was to turn around and go back. I also knew that if we kept moving forward, the way would be mostly downhill whereas if we turned around the path would be much more of an uphill battle. Yet, my daughter didn’t know this. She only knew that the path was long, that her feet hurt, that she wasn’t having fun, and she wanted to go back the only way that she knew.
I wonder how many of us feel this way as we walk through life.
Our feet hurt.
We don’t want to keep going.
We want to go back to what we know.
We don’t know what is coming next, but we know what we just went through!
Why can’t we go back there? At least we know what’s there!
Does this sound familiar? Oh, I know, we’re not all literally walking on a dirt path in the mountains, but as we walk through life we feel like this a lot, don’t we?
Sometimes the path is windy and you don’t know what is coming next. You get scared and you don’t want to keep moving. You have to remember that sometimes the most spectacular views can be seen only by rounding that next curve.
Sometimes the path is hard, an uphill battle. You get tired always climbing, always pushing forward. You have to remember that perseverance is learned in continuing on when you want to give up.
Sometimes the path is smoother, more even. You have that rare moment of walking at a steady pace. You need to remember to look around you and enjoy this incredible, varied, beautiful path we call life.
Sometimes there are unexpected rocks and tree roots in the way. You need to watch where you’re going and watch where you place your feet so that you don’t trip and fall on your face. You need to remember that there will be times and seasons that will want to trip you up. Things that come into your life that are tough to navigate, but you have to remember that this part of the path, this season of life will not last forever.
Sometimes the path goes downhill. It may not be completely smooth, but the downhill trajectory makes it a bit easier to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You need to remember that, though all of life is not this way, these sections of the path, these seasons are a welcome change and should be enjoyed. But keep looking around you! You wouldn’t want to start rolling down the hill if you stop paying attention to what you’re doing!
But it’s more than just the path itself, isn’t it? My daughter was fully capable of hiking the path we had chosen (my husband and I made sure to choose one we knew would be a bit of a challenge and yet very doable for all of our children). I knew that her legs would carry her from the start of the trail to the end of the trail. But it wasn’t really the trail that was giving her the most amount of struggles.
It was her attitude about the trail.
She had decided that she didn’t want to be on this trail, that she didn’t want to be a part of this hike, that it was too hard, and that it was too chilly for her. She made a decision that effected her attitude towards the entire adventure. She made the decision to sulk quietly, hating this part of our vacation.
When she finally voiced her frustration to me, we started talking. We started talking about the beauty that was around us. We started talking about how we were enjoying the crisp fall air. We started talking about the glorious design of the plants and the landscape around us.
I told her that she had a decision to make: She could choose to keep her head down and sulk because the path wasn’t what she expected, it was too hard, and it wasn’t going the way she wanted it to go. The danger in this approach is that in keeping your head down, you miss all the beauty around you. You miss the unexpected pleasures and joys and everyday moments that you don’t normally see.
On the other hand, you can make a decision to lift up your head, to look around you and enjoy the beauty. To realize that, yes, the path is hard at times, but the reward is worth it. The effort is worth it. You can open up your expectations and be amazed at the adventures that come your way.
The choice is up to you…will you enjoy the path of adventure that you are walking? Or will you loathe and complain every step?
Oh, and my daughter? She decided to enjoy herself. And when we got to the end of the path, she was on top of the mountain – literally! We climbed to the top of the mountain and got to gaze in amazement at the beauty of the mountain range and the valleys that lay sprawled out before us.
The view from the top? It is breathtakingly spectacular!
- Finding Perspective when You Feel You Have None
- Gaining Freedom by Choosing to Overcome Your Emotions
- The Journey verses the Destination
- The Changing of the Seasons of Life
- 7 Ways to Pause and Gain Space in our World of Chaos
Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.