Would you prefer that your life journey be straight and direct? No curves in the road?
The picture above is of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, and at five miles long, it is the longest suspension bridge between borders in the Western Hemisphere. But that’s not what intrigues me, although I admit that were I to cross this bridge, I would have not a small amount of fear and trepidation – yikes! What intrigues me is the complete straightness of this bridge. We’re used to traveling roads that wind and curve, that travel up and down mountains… it’s relatively uncommon to drive on a road that is free of curves and bends. But when you’re building a road across a body of water, engineers are guided only by the starting and ending points… and between those a straight path can be established. So, the question that comes to my mind is… which life journey do I prefer? If I’m honest, and I’m guessing you’re the same, there are times in my life when I would prefer not to have quite so many ‘bends in the road’… problems, circumstances that divert me from the goal I have in mind. I’ve been known to wish I could see what’s ahead… to not have to worry about what’s around that curve ahead. However, when I think about my life being more like crossing the Mackinac Bridge, I’m filled with doubt and fear, because although it’s straight ahead, there’s much (perhaps!) to fear about what’s going on beneath you – in this case a deep, potentially dangerous body of water. And think for a moment about that bridge… once you’re on the bridge there’s no turning back… there’s no where to go if an obstacle is suddenly in your path… you’re on a course which allows you only the freedom to get from point A to point B… that’s it. So which would I prefer? For me, there’s no question – I choose the road with the curves and bends. And yes, I have found that there are those times when the bends in my life journey are not pleasant, there is also much, much to enjoy by the variety of circumstances that come my way, that guide my life in ways which I wouldn’t have seen in advance. A move to a different state that taught me how to live simply, frugally, but content. A job change which helped me affirm what’s really important and essential in my life. A temporary illness which makes me stop and be grateful for my overall health. The time when my ‘nest’ emptied, when my children were grown and on their own. How about you? Do you choose a straight path with no obstacles or are you able to adjust to or even enjoy those ‘curves’ in your life? Whichever you choose, let’s choose together to live life with fullness, however it comes to us, and whatever it brings to us… In closing, I read and enjoyed an article by author Serin Paul in the the web magazine, “Medium” © entitled “Ten Quotes That Changed My Life”. Here are a few of those quotes… take some time to reflect… I’d love to hear your thoughts…
By John Lennon… “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
By Steve Jobs… “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
By Mark Twain (although there is question as to whether he wrote this)… “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
By Colin Powell… “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
By Leo Buscaglia… “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”