Friday, August 19, 2011

The Road We Walk


Life is a journey - unfortunately, it is on a one way road. As much as I would love to be 25 again, I am stuck with being 58 with 59 approaching in October. I have often wondered what it would be like to be 25 again with the collective knowledge, wisdom and experience I have now. However, the road does not operate that way. So know I am stuck with a body that sees entropy at every corner but I know a great deal more than when I was 25. So, here I sit at a computer to share some of that experience that I can still remember.

Occasionally, I come to a fork in that road - that fork is a choice. That choice may be about a relationship, a job, a purchase or even an ethical decision. Based of what I know at the time that fork appears, whether I am 25 or 58, I make that choice. Here is where the hard part comes - remember I said it is a one way road. As I continue down this new road I have chosen, it appears I have made the right choice. As I continue to walk it occurs to me that maybe I made the wrong choice. It gets further complicated because since that fork, I have come to a dozen other forks and have made a dozen other choices. As I look back, I realize I made the wrong choice and maybe choices.

I talk to a great deal of people who seem to be standing in the middle of their road, no longer moving forward but just staring backward. They are looking back at one of those choices they made in the past. They have stopped walking and are paralyzed with regret. "If I had only. . ." That is the danger of the road. Many of us are living lives filled with regret and have stopped moving forward. We continually second guess what we have done and usually wallow in self-pity. You may be one of those people. You ask yourself,
"Why did I cheat on my spouse?"
"When did I lose control of drinking?"
"Why did I lose it at work and lose my job"
"Why did I try Meth?"
"Why was I so distant to my kids?"
"Why did I say that?"
The list goes on and on - each different because we all have our own road. More often than not, we are trapped back at that fork with no thought of what to do next. There isn't a person on this planet who has not made the wrong choices. How we deal with those choices is yet another fork in the road.

One thing I have learned is that I can not go back and change the stupid choices I have made in my life. I can try and reach out to people that those choices have hurt and ask for their forgiveness. But I am pretty much here in my road. What I need to do is turn around and stop looking back - with the exception of having enough brains to not make the same stupid decisions over and over. The the move Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone is talking to his son and has one of the best lines I have ever heard in a movie.

"It is not how hard you hit, it is how hard you can be hit and keep moving forward."

That line said it all for me. In my current life I just attempt to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I know that there will be many more forks in the road and I pray that God gives me the wisdom to have learned from my mistakes and that I choose the right fork. If you are standing in the middle of the road looking back, please turn around and start walking. You are not alone on your journey, you do have others that have made similar mistakes and a God who loves you regardless of those decisions. Paul put it this way: 

"...But one thing I do [know] : Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13b-14 - NIV)

OK, you screwed up - we all have! Turn around and get on with your life. Commit yourself to making the right choices - by the way, those right choices usually are not selfish but rather help others.

Peace
~Al