You know the cliche "Life is a Journey"...
well, it's one we all easily relate to. It helps us to figure stuff out and gain some kind of perspective when we imagine our life as a journey.
Sometimes we're on an up, sometimes a down. There are times when we feel like we are flying. We are on top of our game, ideas flow, our brains are on fire and we feel awesome about kicking goals and our celebrating achievements. Sometimes we find ourselves cruising... things are peaceful and easy. And then it's as though some invisible force field comes and puts it's foot on the brakes.
For some reason we can't seem to fathom, everything s-l-o-w-s right down and we start to fizzle out. Before long we feel flat and down about ourselves and our journey. It feels like we've hit the proverbial wall.
The truth is, we all get weary and overburdened at times. So when we reach a 'go-slow', it's easy to feel guilty and stressed. We tell ourselves there is something seriously wrong. We focus on all that we are not achieving and overwhelm kicks in. We start asking questions like "How do I fix this?" "Why can't I pull myself together?" "What do I need to do to get my 'wings' back?"
What if there is another way to look at this dilemma we all seem to face? What if we could renew our mindset. What is we stop for a moment where we are, take a few deep breaths, and lift our gaze off our circumstances to take a look at the view from where we are at? Let me share a quick story.
In my home town we have a well known 'goat track' up the side of a rather steep hill called Castle Hill. On any given day of the year, any time of day, you'll find people climbing this track for exercise. It's not very far, but it is steep enough to have you puffing within minutes. Depending on your fitness and your speed, before long you'll feel your quads burning and your lungs screaming for air. This track has many stairs, (see photo) and just when you think you are almost there, you turn a corner only to realise there is another flight of stairs. Then once you do finally get to the top, there is the option of climbing yet some more stairs to get to various other "top of the top" vantage points to get a different view.
Now if you were to ever climb this hill, you would notice that most people stop many times along the way up to admire the view, because the views along this track are absolutely stunning!! The added bonus of admiring the view is that it allows you to catch your breath and recover enough energy to tackle that next lot of stairs! Depending on your age and fitness, some stop for longer than others...and if you did manage to rush to the top without stopping....well, you would have missed half the point of the climb!
The benefit about stopping though has everything to do with WHAT YOU FOCUS ON when you stop. If you were to stop and gaze up at all the stairs you still have left to climb, you will easily feel tired and may even wonder why on earth you decided to do the climb at all. But, if you turn around, take your focus off the stairs and look out to the magnificent views and the amazing rock formations on this mountain, the climb actually becomes very easy and you definitely know that you want to be there!
Life is a bit like this too. We can get so focussed on the steps we've been hurriedly climbing. It may not be our quads burning and our lungs screaming, but maybe it's our stress rising, our motivation diving and our kids screaming for attention... all the same, we get to the point where we just need to stop. But, if we stop and keep staring at the steps we haven't yet taken, we'll easily get discouraged, feel tired and depressed...so how about turning around once you've stopped to take your eyes off the stairs and to admire your view.
For me it goes like this. When I turn around to look at my view this is what I see:
I see that I'm not journeying alone. I am reminded that God is everywhere I look and He has my back. Matthew 11:28-29 says this "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will give you rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yolk upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle... and humble... and you will find rest for your soul."
I am reminded that my soul is my mind, my will and my emotion. So what this tells me is that even though I am where I am (I may be only half way up the hill), tired and overwhelmed, when I turn to God I will find inner peace, inner rest and inner calm. My mind is stilled, my emotions calm down and I realise that from where I am standing right now, my view is pretty amazing. Suddenly my journey feels easy and I definitely know that I am okay being here.
How about you? What view are you choosing to focus on?
If you can't see your view for the mist or if you're struggling to take your eyes off your stairs... then I'd love to connect with you. Maybe together we'll be able to see your view! Click here to send me an email, or here to schedule a call.