Not too long ago, on one of the rare, relatively warm spring days we have actually had, our family of four took a leisurely Sunday stroll through our neighborhood. We started off walking the city blocks, stopping to smell the orange poppies that are blooming in random places, and soon we ended up on the nature trails at our local park.
While watching the water flow through the brook and while watching the kids be entertained by “fishing” with their sticks in the slow moving stream, I asked Cory and Keri if they wanted to walk even further so we could go visit the duck pond. I was greeted with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
We slowly moseyed down to where the duck pond is located. Slowly because Cory’s three year old little legs aren’t incredibly long and slowly because an eight month pregnant lady can only move so quickly.
While walking, Cory had one thing and one thing only on his mind, arriving at the duck pond.
After a few detours – fences and gates were locked on a field we tried cutting through – we finally reached our end destination. Cory looked at the ducks for about two nanoseconds and then he was ready to move on. Rather than forcing the kids to enjoy the ducks and the pond that took us awhile to get to, we decided to appease the little masses and continue on our way.
However, about five or ten minutes after we left the duck pond, Cory suddenly started lamenting the fact that we didn’t do anything at the duck pond, but merely glance at it. He wanted to go back, “More ducks. Ducks. Ducks please.”
Since it was already getting late and we really needed to get back home, we distracted him with other things along the walk back to our place – shoulder rides, big rocks, chasing black birds, etc. He soon forgot about the ducks and the duck pond, but I couldn’t help but ponder for awhile the lesson he had just inadvertently taught me. A lesson it seems I am always learning, time and time again.
How often do we travel the journeys we take in life – trying to get a spouse through grad school, raising young children who always ask why and who never seem to use up their endless energy, hoping that sooner rather than later we will be in a house – with only one focus seared on our brain, the end goal?
And once we reach that goal, we are too often in a hurry to begin the next chapter in our life. It is always something else we have our eye on, something else in the distance we must now achieve, something in the future that is now what we desperately want. We get too eager and overzealous to keep moving forward, which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. After all, we should always be progressing and learning in life, but we have got to make sure we do it in an orderly and timely manner, in the season it is meant to be done.
Often times we get so caught up in reaching the finish line that we forget to savor the true prize, the process of the journey itself. And then we also forget to soak up the moment of how it feels to finally arrive at our much anticipated destination.
So once again I am resolving now to change my focus and attitude about life. Instead of just moving from place to place and chapter to chapter in my life, I am going to learn how to enjoy and savor the process of going … I want to learn to truly live each moment and phase that have been gifted to me.
This post has been entered in Relishing Motherhood’s contest.