When Life "Reroutes" You
Edward is challenged by direction. If you tell him to turn right, he will turn left. Years ago, Edward was driving with his father as a passenger. He was turning across an eight-lane intersection near the largest shopping mall in his town. His father was telling him to turn right and he was yelling, “I am, I am!”. His father kept repeating, “Turn right!”and Edward continued to protest. About two-thirds of the way through the turn, Edward realized that he was turning left. Until that moment, he was completely convinced he was going the correct way.
Being told you are going in the wrong direction is difficult, and hearing the word “no” can be painful. They are also very important directives on your life map. What it means is it is time to stop, consider what you are doing and where you are going. If we had a GPS for life, it would say, “Rerouting.”
As we all know, there are many resolutions made in the new year: get
healthy, get in shape, keep a journal, cut down on drinking alcohol, drink
more water, keep the house clean, be more positive, learn a new skill. The list
is long. Some people are successful and make a change that lasts throughout the year. Others do not, however that does not mean those people have failed.
A New Hobby
Karen resolved to not watch so much TV in the new year. Instead she took a new exercise class to fill the time. She found that she loved her exercise class, which eventually led her to become an instructor. Because of her resolution, she found a new hobby that she is still enjoying years later.
Angela’s story is quite different. After two months, she ran out of steam and gave up on her resolution. She felt like a failure, and those feelings caused her to forget all the pleasure she had for those two months. She had worked hard, gained knowledge and experience, but it was lost to her because she could not see her experience in a positive light. For example, she could have acknowledged that her internal GPS said she made a good choice at the time, but that choice no longer worked for her. Or, she could have realized that the resolution didn’t need to last a full year in order to learn what she needed to learn and experience what she
needed to experience. Angela saw only failure.
Getting Lost Leads to Adventures
On solo trips, whether they are local or in an unfamiliar place, I usually get
lost…several times. It is a part of my life that I have to accept, sit back and
enjoy the ride. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes it is frighting, and sometimes
I get angry, but if I can relax, I will see something that is interesting that I
would never had seen, if I had not taken the wrong direction. Each time it
happens it builds my self confidence, I will finally find my way.
Making choices, changing our minds, and getting lost are metaphors for life. We
all take wrong directions, make mistakes, or make bad choices. We make choices that are good and right when we made them, but with time are no longer good for us. It is all a part of our journey. It is a path of learning and growth, not directions to a destination where we must arrive at an appointed time. Life is not a story of mistakes and dead ends. It is a journey filled with many experiences. Allow your internal GPS to reroute you from time to time and you’ll see much more than you might have otherwise.
“…help my unbelief
that I may have courage
to cut free from what I have been
and gamble on what I can be….”
-Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace