An Arduous Journey:
A woman left her home to journey from one side of a forest to another to visit friends. She brought only what seemed sensible: A meal and water in case she got hungry, a tent in case she was gone longer than expected, some books in case she found a cozy spot to rest, an iPad in case she wanted to binge-watch Netflix, her rollerblades and an exercise ball in case she had time to work out, several pictures of her family and her most prized possession of a velvet-framed Elvis painting. She dare not leave that at home – in case of theft! She came across a fellow traveler, but rushed by without saying a word. She later encountered a harrowing moment when she came across a bear! The bear charged her savagely. She dropped her ipad on the stone path, cracking it. Later when she thought back, she wasn’t convinced that it was even a bear. Maybe just a raccoon – a large and ferocious raccoon! As she continued her tumultuous journey, it was becoming a burden, her pack heavy, her trip long. She came across a creek, too deep to swim and too wide to jump over with her pack. She finally decided to give up and return home. As she walked in the setting sun, she felt discouraged and angry at the time and expense this journey had cost her.
A Peaceful Journey:
A woman left her home to journey from one side of a forest to another to visit friends. She brought only what seemed sensible: her smile, a sense of excitement, practical shoes, and a phone – in case of emergencies. When she met a fellow traveler, she offered her smile and a kind word. The traveler smiled back, warning her of wild animals along the path. She found this quite intriguing! When she met a raccoon along the way, she fed him some acorns she had gathered and enjoyed watching him frolic through the trees. Before he scampered away, she was even able to get a selfie with him! When she came to a creek, she kicked off her shoes and jumped right in! The water was cold and refreshing as she swam to the other shore. There she rested in the warm setting sun until she had dried off. She spent the evening with some friends, sharing with them the tale of her journey and the beautiful things she had encountered along the way.
Isn’t it interesting the difference baggage and perspective can have on a journey? The woman in the first story let a simple hike became an arduous and fruitless nightmare, while the second woman had an adventure of beauty and excitement. Often in approaching new seasons in life, what we bring with us can color how that journey will be perceived. Maybe today the choice is to head into the world with fresh eyes and an open heart to what may come. It’s likely that we all carry some baggage, but when we allow it to weigh us down, then we miss out on what adventures the day may hold. So this spring, I encourage ask yourself these questions:
- What is it you’re carrying into your days?
- What would it take to leave it at home – or to discard it for good?
- What would it take you to start a new journey of excitement and adventure?
Happy journeying and happy spring!