The Road Less Traveled

This week was a great week . . . for my soul. Maybe not so much for the diet. With my sister, Carly, here we were out and about a lot and ate things that neither of us typically eat on a regular basis. Consequently, I have to say I didn’t do well with many of my food choices, portions, or time of day meals were eaten. But what is life if we can’t step away from some things for a quick week to enjoy things we normally don’t allow ourselves to have? I’ll be back at it in a serious manner starting Monday. I promise. And I hope to report good things next week!

This week, as I mentioned, Carly was here. We spent pretty much every waking second together. I did have to work a little but was able to structure that around the activity we had planned, which wasn’t much . . . on purpose! It is always so refreshing and even healing to spend time with her. We made a trip to see Ben at college for a day. We arrived there on Wednesday around noon, spent the night at a hotel and then left on Thursday afternoon when Ben resumed classes. It was great to visit him and to watch him give Carly a tour of his new little corner of the world. As we were driving through Nebraska, Colorado’s grassy and corn-planted plains gave way to beautiful large, full trees in addition to the grassy and corn-planted plains of Nebraska. I love driving through scenery like that. And the lovely fall colors just enhanced the already beautiful landscape. On the way, I saw a few things that really made me think. Some of them Carly and I discussed. Others, I pondered for a while and then kind of tucked away and decided I might write about someday . . . maybe even this week. 

Now, you have to understand that I am a dreamer and then some. I love thinking and dreaming about how to make life better for myself and my family, just as everyone else does. I have learned to keep my “why” in front of me and focus on that and what I need to do to achieve the goals I have set for myself in ALL areas of my life. I am also a DAYdreamer. I mean, some may call it adult ADD. I call it sanity. Whatever . . . I have a very curious mind and am always wanting to learn about the things I see. I ask a LOT of questions (I mean, SO MANY, right Wade?) and enjoy conjecture and hypothesis when I run across something that no one can answer for me. Anyway, when I am on a trip, I love imagining what life was like for the people who built the houses and fences we see. And how long has the windmill been standing in the empty field? How many people have seen it? How much water was pumped out of the ground because of it? How complicated was their “simple” life? I think about all the amenities we enjoy in our lives today as opposed to how hard people, especially those first settlers of the plains, had to work. There is one thing that always catches my attention . . . dirt roads that lead away from the main highway. I am always fascinated with how they seem to trail off and twist and wind into nothingness. I saw several dirt roads like that on our trip through Nebraska. And, of course, my mind wandered.

I began thinking about how we are all on a path in our lives. Some of us are speeding down the interstate in the newest model sports car. Life is good, fast and fairly well-maintained. Then there are others of us who are on two lane highways. We may be in a nicer car or we may be in a larger car or older model pickup that isn’t really built for the speed of the interstate. The road is a little more bumpy maybe and the pace doesn’t seem to be quite as hectic or dangerous as the four lane expressway. Then others of us seem to be travelling on the dirt roads of life. They are less traveled, less maintained and much slower paced than their other counterparts. The convenience of the superhighway gives way to the “scenic route” and the slower-going, often more winding road. There are curves and hills and bumps and ditches. There is dust and gravel kicking up continually. Such is life. There are some of us whose paths seem paved nicely and the journey is fairly smooth and all the cars surrounding us are heading in the same direction. Then there are some who seem to have a little less room on the road, things don’t happen as fast as they’d sometimes like and they often find themselves stuck behind a tractor or other piece of large farm machinery. If you’re anything like me, though, it seems we travel the backcountry, winding dirt roads that consist of curves and cattle crossings and bridges and hills you can’t see over until you arrive at the top. And you know what? That’s all right. Life throws some unexpected twists and turns our way. We can’t go as fast sometimes as we would like. The vehicle we need to use to travel these back roads may be more unconventional and may be a little more beat up and worn. But it really is all right. It will still get us to the place we are going.

I’m sure most of us have heard that it’s not necessarily the destination in life that is important; it’s the journey. It is what happens between when we leave our driveway and arrive at the place we were headed. I have learned FAR MORE lessons on my little dirt road in my beat up truck than I have ever learned speeding down the interstate. On my dirt road, it seems that the world goes by a little slower and in turn that brings things into focus a little more. Granted, there are times when I need to leave the dirt path for the convenience of the interstate. I may need to accomplish something faster or just want to get things moving in the same direction as everyone else. But I am satisfied with the dirt road I find myself on right now. And I guess that is a good thing since I am pretty sure God placed me right here. Ten years ago, five years ago, shoot, even just one year ago, I may not have enjoyed this path like I am right now. But I have full faith and confidence that I am exactly where I need to be. And just like the roads I saw this week when I was driving with Carly, I wonder where this road will take me. I’m on the road less traveled. It has no tread marks and hasn’t been conveniently cleared out in front of me. What I do know is that my path is MINE alone to take. I can have people in my car from time to time, but ultimately it is not for them to control. It is for me to decide. Just as I can’t do anything to control their journey. I can be a companion and travel buddy but it’s their path to go down. And that’s what it’s about anyway, right? Eating up mile after mile getting to where we’re going and doing it the best way we know how. 

It’s not our place to judge someone for taking the speedy interstate in their lives. They can live in the fast lane all they want until they don’t want to anymore. It IS our place to decide if that fast lane is for us or if we are going to take an exit and start down the quiet, ambling, dusty dirt road and see the landscape and the objects surrounding us come into focus as we slow down and enjoy the journey. And we have to figure out where God truly wants us. As I have said, this last year has been a challenge for me. However, I know He has put me on a more difficult path in my life for a reason. It’s not an easy, convenient road for me. No. But He has taught me more in the last year than I have learned in a very long time. And all those lessons came after I decided that no matter how much I tried, I wasn’t going to be able to cross the ditch or median and get back to the highway, let alone the interstate. I had to accept the vehicle He gave me and the road He put me on. And while I am here, I am going to take in all the sights and cross all the bridges and cattle guards and know that when I am done, my vehicle will need a good washing to get the dust and mud off. But, I know a guy. And my life will be what it is supposed to be . . . even if it needs an occasional cleaning and a definite dusting off in the end. But, I know a Guy for that, too. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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