There are many things in life we want. A desire to be healthy, to have a good marriage, to get the job of our dreams, to save money, to stop smoking/drinking/gossiping/working too much, etc.
If we are honest, most of these things are only a wish. They’re what we want but we also want it to happen with no work or effort on our part. We can’t get to our destination on hope and wishes.
All of our family vacations were taken before Google maps and Waze. We had paper maps that came as folded neat rectangles. Once opened they could never be refolded to be as flat as when they were new. A lot like a fitted sheet.
Growing up, my dad was driver and navigator. He’d look at the map at one of the rest stops along the road then fold it up and continue on to our destination.
I did not marry that man. I married a man who expected me to read the maps, call out directions and help navigate. My expectations, of course, were the opposite. You drive, you should decide the way to go.
We have been from one end of this country to the other with fold up maps, a bound Atlas and KOA campground books. All of them in my lap. Often, the directions I called out to him weren’t understood. We’ve made U-turns and back-tracked a time or two but when followed correctly, the map’s directions got us to our destination. The key was in following the directions. We had to take action, to apply the information.
I have spent hours that likely add up to years wishing to maintain a specific weight and size. My wanting has never gotten me there. It took action. I had to make choices to change my eating habits and up the output of activity. I’ve slacked from my vigilance and the results are evident. In this case, discipline will determine my destination.
There are maps to help us with much of life. They look like a bible, the Big Book (AA), Weight Watchers, YMCA, support groups, life coaches, the list goes on. They’re all useless unless we apply the wisdom and support they offer.
We’ve never taken a vacation or road trip without a plan. We know where we want to go and we have to apply the directions and preparations to get us there. We wouldn’t think of not packing for a trip or heading off without checking the gas tank but when it comes to our spiritual life or physical health we’re satisfied to coast on fumes. We try to wish our way to where we want to be.
We’ll be taking to the road in a few weeks. It’s a familiar route we’ve driven a dozen years but we’ll still need to prepare. There will be lists and maps to check. If only I could wish the 10-hour drive into 4 but getting to our destination sometimes takes perseverance too. The prize awaits us when we reach our goal.