Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going with the flow...

The other night I unexpectedly had quite a bit of time to just sit and think, as I sat in bumper-to-bumper gridlock waiting to get off a freeway that had been closed to make way for the moving of the longest two-span bridge ever moved in the Western Hemisphere.

The sad thing is, I knew the freeway was going to be closed.  I was out partying late into the night as only scrapbookers can do, and my friends and I had discussed the freeway closure and alternate ways to get home.  As I got on the freeway I saw there was no slowing and thought, 'Well, I'll go down a few exits and get off at the one before the closure.' 

I drove a few miles down the freeway there was still no sign of slowing.  I approached the last exit before the exit I knew I'd be forced off, and I thought, 'I should really get off here.'  But the freeway had only just closed, and no one else was getting off there, and there was only a mile or two until the final exit.  I dithered long enough that the choice was pretty much made for me -- I had passed the last exit and I was committed.

Sure enough, as I rounded the bend there was nothing in front of me but a sea of brake lights.  As I inched forward I wondered why on earth I hadn't just gotten off when my gut feeling and just plain common sense told me I should.  It would have added an extra 5 minutes or so to the time it normally takes to get home.  Instead I was stuck on the freeway an extra half hour just to go about 1 mile.

But I was content to just follow what it seemed like everyone else was doing.  I wanted to get as close as I could to the edge before changing my path.  And by the time it became apparent I had made the wrong choice, it was too late and I was stuck.

How often do we do that in life?  We take the path of least resistance, we go with the flow.  We don't want to be weird or make waves, even when our gut is telling us that it is time to get off the road we're on.  Maybe we think that we can get closer to the edge without falling off than others can.  Maybe we take for granted that the path we're on is the right one, or we're just on auto-pilot.  Instead of taking responsibility for our own choices, we dither until the opportunity for making a choice has passed us by.

Sometimes we feel like that wrong choice (or that choice we didn't make) is permanent -- that we are now stuck on the wrong road.  Thankfully, real life does offer us a chance to turn around.  Or perhaps I should say that God offers us a chance to turn around.  No matter now far down the wrong road we go, he is always there, waiting to show us our chance to exit and get back on the right road.  It might take us a little longer to get to our destination than if we did what we should have in the first place, but God's detour is always going to get us safely to our destination.

So I guess I'm saying three things:

1.  Listen to what you feel inside and live on purpose.  Don't just go with the flow and allow life to make choices for you.

2.  If you end up on what turns out to be the wrong road, don't give up.  God will show you the detour to get back on track.

3.  If you know the DOT is moving a bridge the size of a football field, just get off the dang freeway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life advice from the Dr. himself -- a "Perfect" Thought for the Day.

Today (as anyone with an elementary school student or a Facebook account knows) is Dr. Seuss's birthday, and in honor of the day I thought I'd share some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. He truly knew how to appreciate differences, quirks, imperfections, and all that was good in people!

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
Dr. Seuss (Happy Birthday to You!
"Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France
Where the average young person just hasn’t a chance
To escape from the perilous pants eating plants
But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy
You ought to be shouting how lucky am I"
Dr. Seuss (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
"My uncle ordered popovers
from the restaurant's bill of fare.
And, when they were served,
he regarded them with a penetrating stare.
Then he spoke great words of wisdom
as he sat there on that chair:
"To eat these things," said my uncle,
"You must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what's solid,
but you must spit out the air!"
And as you partake of the world's bill of fare,
that's darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow."
Dr. Seuss 
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
And my personal favorite for today, which I've heard many times before but never knew it came from the good Dr. Seuss, is this: 
For more awesome Suessisms, visit the GoodReads or ThinkExist Dr. Seuss pages.