The sign said something different from what I was looking for, so we just kept on walking. Twenty minutes later, we realized that was where we should have turned after all.
Instead of turning back, my two granddaughters and I decided to explore the direction we were going instead. We arrived safely at our destination just over an hour later than we were expected.
As we were finishing the last leg of the trip, our destination in sight, we reviewed what we had learned from the experience.
Later, I realized that what we had learned was a perfect analogy for traveling in life.
After all, don’t we all sometimes look back on our lives and think, “If only I would have taken that turn, things would be different?”
Of course, that is true, because our choices do affect the outcome, but regret over missing a turn doesn’t serve us at all.
Did you ever notice that if you take the L off the word “learned” it says earned? How perfect is that? We earn as we learn. Therefore, here are the points we learned and earned!
First, we agreed that if we ever take that particular walk again, we know absolutely where to turn. We won’t be confused by the sign, or distracted by a cute little ground hog.
When we take different walks, we will remember that perhaps the sign appears misleading, but with a deep pause, we will recognize that it is simply saying things differently than we expected.
We will also remember that it is subjective, and our choice, whether or not it was a mistake to miss the turn. After all, we saw things on our walk that we would never have seen any other way.
We learned the importance of always walking (running, or jogging) with a cell phone.
In our case, we didn’t need it to call for help because I knew where we were, but we did have to reassure a mom that we were ok.
In life, we need to be present and available no matter where we are, and if we need to call for help, we can do so because we are prepared to communicate.
We asked for directions!
This goes back to asking for help. Yes, I did know in general where we were, but asking alerted me to where we would emerge from the trail, and it was reassuring to know that we were headed in the general right direction.
In life, what have others done before you? What do they have to teach you about where you are?
There is no point in learning things the hard way, when guidance is always available. Click To Tweet
Since we were walking in my hometown, I immediately saw landmarks that I knew. However, the town has changed dramatically from when I used to walk as a child. I had to check more than one landmark to make sure we were heading in the right direction.
It was a good lesson for Cassi and Tana to remember to observe where they are when traveling.
It is a good lesson in life to always pay attention and be in the present. It reminds me of Miss Marple in Agatha Christie novels. She paid attention, and then recognized when people, places, and things reminded her of what she had observed in the past.
She was rarely fooled. This seems to me to be a wonderful skill to earn while learning.
Trust that all will be well.
There was no point in worrying.
Is there more that needs to be said? Instead of enjoying the walk, instead of seeing new sights, instead of learning new things, we could have worried. Seriously, what’s the point of that, and how does it help?
It is very hard to hear the still small voice that is always guiding us, when the loud voice of worry is filling our heads.
Later, when we returned home, we reviewed a map of where we had been, noting the trail we missed and the path we actually took.
Same as in life, it is always good to look at the broad picture of where we are walking.
In the end, I was delighted by what might have appeared as a mistake.
I’ll never forget the sight of Tana running ahead with her ponytail swinging and then returning to Cassi and me to walk for a while. We had time to talk, we saw things only a walker could have seen, and together we learned some important life lessons.
And as Cassi said, “We’ll have a story to tell!” She was already thinking of someday telling her grandchildren how she, her sister, and her Beeco missed a turn, and enjoyed a long walk together on a beautiful day.
Isn’t this what life is about? I hope you enjoy the turns you have missed, and remember that the divine intelligence always knows where you are, and if you pause and listen, you will see that you are always earning while you are learning.
(The picture comes from the trail we were walking … you can learn more about it here)