I’m often reminded to shift my perspective. Very often. Life aligns to humble and teach what is of true importance. I’m grateful.
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
For so many years I didn’t feel like I was home. It’s difficult to describe in words, but it was a restless, incomplete feeling. I lacked direction and purpose. Sometimes in life when one lacks direction, they will take the path of least resistance, which isn’t always the right path. Rather it’s the easiest. I used to say to my Mom when I was young “But that’s too hard” to which she replied “Who said life was easy?”
My purpose was unclear for many years, and at times it’s still unclear. One needs purpose and direction in order to move forward though. It’s essential. I didn’t understand why my Dad didn’t sell his cattle before he started his radiation treatments. Looking back on it now, I realize that perhaps he needed to take care of his cattle during one of the hardest times in his life. It gave him purpose and direction while he was struggling.
So today I’m reminded of the importance of direction even if I’m unclear of which way to go! Just put one foot in front of the other. Don’t stop searching. Keep going. Life’s direction can unfold itself when one least expects it. Don’t fear challenge, but rather embrace it. When your mind says No, that’s when you say Yes…we are all stronger than we even realize.
Purpose is found within life’s passion. Those things in life that bring clarity, true happiness, and peace. What is it that you value most? Often I realize the right decision for me is the one I fear the most. I fear change and the unknown and I hold back on pursuing my dreams because of that.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
During my summer holidays, I was once again humbled to my core. I was talking to my Dad and my sister Janice about how I loved that my sisters Brenda and Roxanne shared a joy for running. My sister Brenda and her husband Mark had just left for their morning run and my Dad said to me “You know Janice was a track star in high school.” Janice has lived with MS for many years, and because we are several years apart, I don’t remember Janice in high school. Janice looked at me with longing in her eyes and said “Yes Chris, I used to love to run. I ran in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night! I loved to run. I miss it.”
As those words escaped her lips, I thought of the times that I had to convince myself to go for a run when I would rather be on the couch. I immediately felt small. Ungrateful. Spoiled. Selfish.
A vision of Janice flooded my mind’s eyes, her auburn hair floating in the breeze, her breathing steady, her strong legs urging her forward as her runners hit the pavement at a steady pace. She ran simply for the joy of being able to. At that moment, I would have given anything to give her my legs so she could run, even for one last time. I’m so sorry Janice. You teach me so much about life, and I’m so grateful to you. I love you.
“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” Rick Warren
As soon as I hit publish on this post I’m going to the gym. I’m going to post an uplifting post-it note to the mirror in the change room, and then hit the running track simply because I’m able to run. And I will feel gratitude in my heart the whole time, even when it hurts and I want to stop.
I feel like I’m home now. I’ve found myself through the lessons that others have so selflessly shared with me. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Thank you.
From my heart to yours,