Self-Improvement, taking a different path

Being a creature of habit, when I was commuting to work I knew exactly which route would have the least traffic and took it daily. My journey home took just under an hour and I valued the evenings with my family; rarely did I alter my course.
This was not the only route available but I had established this to be the quickest path with the least amount of frustration. Along the way I would come to a fork in the road and repeatedly choose the same road without thought. 
I can remember one evening in the month of May, as I approached the stop sign which was a marker of the half way point, I noticed a construction sign. The irritating orange sign told me that my usual left hand turn was not an option and I was forced to take the right hand turn.
Sighing with frustration at the interruption and certain lost time, I made the right turn and the quick left which followed. This country road was flanked by hundred year old trees which canopied over the hilly road; gorgeous green farm fields nestled beside the dirt shoulder relaxing me as they came into my field of vision.
Driving slowly I began to relax, my thoughts weren’t on the time as per usual.
The sunlight which stole through the trees onto the road brought a sense of calm to the space and as I began the ascent up a distinctly steep hill I was surprised to see goats standing over me on the rock wall which was placed just beside the road. Was that really a goat? How long had it been since I’d seen a goat?
At the top of the hill I felt compelled to pull the car over; I got out and walked over to the side of the meadow which greeted me. Standing there I could see over a valley, it was such an amazing view….I had no idea it existed. For a moment I was lost in this vista of spring, the fruit trees in bloom, the animals in the fields, it captured me entirely.
In that moment I breathed deeply and the feeling of deep gratitude for my life swept over me. Visions of my husband, my children and their smiles came into my mind. Tears stung my eyes as I thanked God, realizing how fortunate I was.
This moment seemed to consume me, I was there directly within it as the gentle breeze graced my face. At this point in my life I wasn’t actively seeking a relationship with God and yet I felt Him there and it was as if He filled me with a feeling of being loved, from my toes to the top of my head.
As is want to happen in times like these, a feeling within myself urged me to remember the time, I looked at my watch and saw I had to get moving to get to the baby sitter’s house. With one last sweeping glance I attempted to commit the view to my memory for future use and returned to my car.
The rest of the drive home was uneventful but the feeling of serenity remained.
It lasted for a while until the concerns of life pushed it out. When I noticed this happening I would often take that country drive home and try to find the peace within the quite a few moments can bring.
These days I don’t commute from work and yet I have practices which afford me the peaceful feeling I seek.
I try to pay attention and take different routes these days so that I don’t need a construction sign to point me in the right direction.
There are so many amazing experiences to be had if we open our minds and hearts and take the unknown course.
Are you missing an amazing experience?
Have you chosen the easiest route and closed your mind to other options?
Have you checked the motivation for your choices?
Are you seeking purely self-satisfaction, are you fearful, are you seeking to be in control rather than to grow?
I ran around life too long being fearful and ego driven.
Being aware and investigating is always worth the little effort involved, otherwise how can we grow?
Proverbs 16:9
 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
Isaiah 58:11
“The Lord will guide you continually …And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail
AA – Twelve & Twelve Pg. 65
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due to us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
If we as, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

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17 Responses

  1. This is wonderful, Julie…and so true. We never quite know what's around the corner or off the beaten path until we take it.

  2. Moments like these force you to look at the world around you and you realise that no matter where you are there is always something to be grateful for. Life is so short that we need reminders like these to jolt us, forcing us to look up. Johnny

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love this. Absolutely love it. I need to print this out as a reminder to myself to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

  4. stopping by from TRDC, what a lovely post. Those moments are so necessary to fuel our soul and they can't be made to happen… they come on their own :)

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