Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Desire- Reaching your Dream

How do we figure out what to do with our life? By following our desires. I'm not talking about lust, like for another person. I'm talking about passion, something you love doing, something that brings you happiness, something you dream about.

What if you dream about being an astronaut? Well, let's look at that. The most proven method is to start by joining the military. So you join up. There you discover you don't really like that kind of rigid lifestyle, but you have a natural talent for leadership that is groomed and utilized while you are in. Since you don't want to stay military you give up your dream of going to space and leave the service.

Drifting a bit you get a job in management at a corporation. While there you work your way up for a few years learning a lot about corporate structure and business life. You find yourself becoming restless and dissatisfied. One day you get a great idea for a better product. Life has prepared you perfectly, without you knowing. You leave your corporate job, start a new company and soon the lives of millions are a little bit better because you are the CEO of a multi-million dollar international company, a company that never would have come into being if you hadn't followed your desire to be an astronaut.

The root meaning of the word "desire" is "from God." By trusting Him and having faith He can guide our steps, but only if we follow. The Universe will arrange itself to support you. Since there are no billboards in the sky, how do we know what to do? By following those nudges, urges and ideas incubating inside. Sometimes that dream or desire is the goal. Sometimes following that idea just gets you on the right path to start.

When you take a road trip most of the time it is not a straight shot. For me to get from Seattle, WA to Boise, ID I hop on the I-5 then switch to I-90. After a few hundred miles it's onto the I-82. Finally onto I-84 into Boise.

Sometimes life is like that. We follow one path for awhile. Take a little break or become restless. Switch paths. Eventually, if we are lucky and paying attention, we arrive and are doing our dream.

First we have to get started. If I just drove around Boise forever I'd never get to Seattle. First I have decide I want to go somewhere. I can always correct my course if I get lost on the way, but if I never start driving I'll never get anywhere different.

If I'm going someplace really far I may have to get on a plane or a boat. I may even have to transfer between planes. Going to Ireland I had to go on 3 different planes to get there.

So, first step, identify your biggest passion or desire then take a step in that direction. What is something you can do? Can you study a new subject? Talk to someone in that field? Move? Write? Take a class?

If you knew the perfect step to take, what would it be? What can you today to start?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Worms

The soil was hard. It was clay really. A horrid place to try and grow a yard, let alone a garden. This is the kind of soil that requires a team of workers to make it usable. Experts have to be brought in to work night and day to break it up and mix in the needed nutrients. The kind of know how ingrained from a life of doing. This ground needed the best. It needed worms.

Thus it was. So on rainy afternoons my children and I would grab the bucket and go on a "Worm Walk." Worms were out in droves, especially on the block behind our property. Following the sidewalk we would gather worms out of the road, gutter and off the sidewalk. We looked for the big ones, thick and squirmy. 5-6 inches was a real prize. If it was in someone's yard or close to, it was off limits. We'd just push it into their lawn. However, if it was in the road, then we were really rescuing it before the sun could come out and dry them up. Although nearly all these hundreds of worms would disappear before the puddles, a few would inevitably get stuck out in the road and dry up if they weren't rescued.

We'd gather around 30 worms, sometimes more, sometimes less. They might get dumped into the front lawn, or maybe even the back. Most often though, they would get put into the garden. Each fall we mulched the garden. Each spring that mulch got turned into the soil. But by far the most important thing we did was add the worms.

This last fall we moved from our rock and clay yard to an apartment in the wet Pacific Northwest. We have often walked in the rain over the past few months but it wasn't until last week I realized what was missing. Worms! I saw no worms. How very odd.

Then only a couple days ago they came out. They were small and spindly, hardly worth noticing. Shorter than my pinkie! Touching them hardly made them wriggle. Tons of them couldn't even make it off the sidewalk before the sun came out. If they had made it out as far as the gutter it seemed they were goners. I couldn't help but think there wasn't a one we saw that would make decent fishing bait.

What in the world could cause such a difference, I wondered. The ground before was hard and nutritiously poor. The ground here is soft, so soft it squishes after a rain. Everything is so green. The soil must be rich. It must be like a worm Utopia compared to to the former ground. So how is it these new worms are so weak and puny were as the worms I knew were robust and lively? Could it possibly be that the work required to survive in the hard soil is exactly what made better worms, not the nutrients I imagine must be in the new soil? That living the life of ease was actually holding back these more inferior cousins? Is it the same for people? Might it be we need opposition and challenges in order to grow bigger and more robust? That living an easier life actually makes us weaker specimens?

Though I am not sure, for now I shall be grateful for the oppositions I have faced thus far, hoping they have made me to be of the strong fighter variety instead of leaving me weak and puny. If I find myself far from where I am safe, I want to be tough enough to make it back to friendlier ground!

Game of Life

As I stood in the kitchen listening to 3 year old Sarah cry, whine and grump her older sister Emily who is 5, came in.

Excitedly she declared, "Sarah, let's play that one game where you laugh and giggle!"

Sarah broke out in a huge grin and ran off giggling with her sister.

What would happen if we all approached each other in life that way? We're all just playing a game anyway. What if instead of playing "to win," or playing to try and "get ahead" we played just to make each other happy? I am not saying I have the answer, or that the world would be paradise overnight.

Still, I can't help but wonder, how would my life be different if I played the game "to make you laugh and giggle?"

How would yours be different?