The cloudy skies are not the only thing that has been a bit overcast lately. I have very much been dealing with my own funk. Thankfully, after a good, as one of my best friends Ang calls it, “ugly cry” in the passenger side of the truck, I felt enough relief to get out and go for a walk. With swollen eyes and snotty nose, I set out on a long walk with my pup and my love.
He knows what makes me tick. He has figured out, after twenty years, that a good walk, even on a cloudy day, is enough to turn the ship around. Even though I am pretty certain he would have preferred a day of pro football games, he chose me. He chose my well being over his comfort.
Most of the path was a concrete sidewalk style, the kind wide enough for two people and a free-range puppy to walk fairly comfortable, at the same time, in the same place. At some point, the hubby decided it was time for a little off-roading.
This is where my therapy session started.
We set out on the narrow, rocky path, the kind that is so narrow that the puppy takes the alpha lion role and leads the humans in a carefully traversed single-file line. It is so beautiful there. But it is hard to see. Not because anything covers it, nothing impedes your view, but simply because you have to spend the whole time looking down. You have to slow down. You have to really focus or you will undoubtedly stub your toe, or trip over who knows how many rocks. You can look up, at your own risk.
I do love the rocks though. I love them because they do slow me down. They make me focus and be fully present in the moment. I love them because they strengthen my legs as I step on and sturdy myself on each one. Sometimes, I even choose to step on more of them, just for the added work they give my body. I love that I can’t take even one step for granted. There are no two strides that are the same. Some are short, feet close together, and some are stretched out, like two stepping stones spread far apart. And I love it all. And he knows it. And this is why he chose to take me off of the concrete path.
Isn’t life the same?
Sometimes, we walk on the concrete path, plenty of space to roam comfortably, with little to no hindrances in the way. We can easily take in all of the beauty around us. There are no distractions draw our attention away.
Sometimes, the path we walk is narrow and rocky. There is no looking up. There is only time for the watching of feet, scanning for constant obstacles in the path. There is only the following of the one true Alpha. There is only time for the strengthening of faith as one trial is overcome after the other. There is a necessity for mindfulness and focus. There is a knowing that no two seasons will be the same.
And it is ok. In fact, I think it is more than ok.
The disciple James summed it up beautifully.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ” James 1:2-4
The narrow, rocky paths are beautiful and purposeful, drawing the eyes down, down to notice the here and now. They test us and produce strength and agility of faith and steadfastness, traits we will need for the trails, and trials, up ahead.
My Creator knows what makes me tick. He’s known me for over thirty-nine years. He knows that a good walk, even on a cloudy day, is enough to turn the ship around. He knows, because He created me to see Him more fully when I am within His creation. He knows that the rocky paths draw my focus back to Him. Even though I doubt my worthiness, still he chose me. He chose my heart over His comfort.
I choose Him, His plan, His purpose for my life, over my comfort.