Isn’t it a panicky time when you are transitioning into a new phase of life?
Due to a shift of responsibilities I've been driving more now than I have in the last thirty years. As a result, we've been car shopping for a vehicle to replace the automobile I've used for the last ten years.
I don’t care if it’s that scary woman teacher in kindergarten who had a mustache and made you sit down with your head on the table. Or, the training you need to undertake on the new job, or that first apartment you rent when you leave your parents house. It's hard to take a leap of faith.
Life is a compartmented hamster wheel that once you climb to the top there is an inevitable fall to the bottom and then back to the climb.
Our college age daughter just returned from a successful freshman year full of the anxieties of contemporary environments. Learning advanced life skills with interpersonal relationships, untapped subjects in biblical study, technology in her field and her first article being published.
It’s all so exciting!
On occasion the endless circle does come to a screeching halt. When you think you’ve reached the place where you can attain the goal at the pinnacle instead you’re sliding down the back side of the wheel and somehow end up on the sawdust littered floor. We all experience it.
I’m not sure why my metaphor is so base. Except sometimes that downward fall can knock the stuffing out of you or the wind out of your sails. Cliche upon cliche piles up on the hard work you thought would yield a successful outcome. Where is the pay off?
There is so much more to learn. No more apparent then when you think you’ve seen it all, lived through it all…the unexpected morphs into a different challenge you never saw coming.
The “place” of finally -I’ve- arrived becomes broken dreams. The breather just ahead becomes push harder and longer than you ever expected. The normal response is to wonder if you ever got it right before?
Awkward self doubt is revisited from early on as puberty but one look in the mirror reminds you that those days are long gone.
What do you do?
You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over.
Because surprisingly, life is full of wonders and delights you can’t see while you wait on the hard bottom. Eventually, the air fills your lungs again, strength returns, maybe not like it used to, but something like the first breath when you cross the bay bridge down the shore. Salty, brine tinged cool air helps you recollect warm sand between your toes, long lazy playtimes in the waves. Or, cool starlit nights reminiscing of other crystal skies in the mountains after a day of skiing, hot cocoa and friends laughter. Times that draw you closer to the mysterious person who set all of this in place for you.
Souvenirs to relay that this is still a wonderful world. Life is beautiful and God is good. It will get better. I promise.
So enjoy the ride!