My dad commented on my blog the other day. And I have been thinking about his remarks ever since. What he said wasn’t personal, or even specific in nature, but it was profound nonetheless. I certainly found it so.
He said… “Life is a lot like driving a car. If you are careful and make wise decisions you generally, not always, arrive at the destination you intended. However every bad decision or moment of not paying attention risks arriving at a place you didn't want to go. Just like in real life bad decisions made early in the trip can show up later on. The good news is that if you make a mid-course correction you still get where you want to go.”
I keep trying to retrace my steps to see when and where I went off course. I know I’ve had to make a few mid-course corrections along my road. My first marriage was one. And that mid-course correction was a doozy. I wonder too often if it actually caused the trouble down the road that I’m seeing now. I can’t say my kids were unaffected by the divorce, or my remarrying. But I can’t change the past, and playing the “what if” game is not productive. I think maybe I need to stop looking in the rear view mirror and start focusing on the road ahead…and maybe I need to use the map just a little more often.
The course correction isn’t so bad if you discover your mistake early on in the trip and turn back around. I’ve made lots of wrong turns in my life without heading down the wrong road for long. As far as my kids go, I need to remind them that they have a decision to make in choosing their course. I wish I could plot the course for my kids, instead of just teaching them how to read the map. I’ve managed to steer at least one in the right direction, I can only hope I can do it again.
With any luck the road we travel is long and winding and we will make the right decision at every fork. But the reality is, we will take a wrong turn from time to time, and we will need to double back or take a detour to get back on track. I think they refer to that as taking the “scenic route.”
And maybe we don’t want to get to where we’re going quickly. Life isn’t a race to the finish line; it’s a marathon through the woods. Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses, while still avoiding the poisonous mushrooms along the way.
And for goodness sake, don’t forget to make a few stops along the way to enjoy the views. Life is a beautiful place.
Until the next time…I’ll be refueling for tomorrow’s journey.