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Don't look down

Last week, my family and I took a trip to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The point of the trip was to relax and regroup; a nice vacation/recovery, post Easter. My parents enjoy hiking and the weather was supposed to be nice, so we had a few hikes planned. They were average; nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. The first day we just relaxed. On day 2 we shopped in the morning, due to heavy precipitation, and then later in the day hiked through muddy hills. On the last day of our trip, Saturday, we thought we would do one last hike before heading home. Choosing a location from last year that we knew was good, we headed to Brandywine Falls. For this hike, it is recommended that you do it backwards, ending with the beautiful falls and starting with monotonous rocks and trees. We hiked for a while before we came to a bridge that crosses a very small river. If you stay on the path laid out for you, you don’t go all the way down to the river, but what’s the fun in that? This “river” was full of rocks and had a few fallen trees, just enough to keep it interesting.



I’d been on the bridge that crosses over the river the previous year, and it was ok - just a bridge. This time it only made sense to try to cross the river on foot instead. After scoping out the area, I was confident in our ability to cross the river just as easily as on the bridge, with a little extra fun. My dad readied us with our walking sticks, while my mom doubted us a bit, thinking we wouldn’t make it across.

Reaching the level ground next to the river, I stood there and mapped out the steps in my head from one side to the other. There was a perfect path of rocks if you just stayed on it, and with my walking stick it would be easy to cross. I told my dad it was just like National Treasure, I’m not totally sure how, but it made sense at the time.


We didn’t hesitate to begin. I started for the other side, led the way, and didn’t look back. The rocks were slimy and slippery, making the trek a little extra exciting. Not long into our adventure, I got to what I thought was half way, but what was actually 1/8th of the way across (give or take) and looked up to my finish line.

I had no idea where my perfectly planned out path had gone. I couldn’t find the rocks that I had planned to step on. My path was nonexistent. I had looked down for too long; I lost my direction.


 

Remember the introduction video I did for this blog? I mentioned that my idea for it started in 2020.

In 2020.

That was two whole years ago. There’s a little leeway though, given that it was mid pandemic, right?

What’s even better than that is, I started writing real blogs in the summer of 2021. I had a content calendar ready, and I even bought my domain name, but then did nothing.

When the fall of 2021 came around, I looked down.

I was distracted by starting a new path in my academic life, working more hours, my high emotions, my uncontrollable doubts, and even other people.

 
Losing focus made me lose time.
 

Finally, a day came in January where I realized there wasn’t time to waste.

As I sat there and listened to worship music, it really hit me. I was doing nothing towards my purpose; nothing for my calling. I was wasting time that could be used to help people; being so focused on my problems, or more accurately, so unfocused on my mission.

I went back to writing. I went back to leaning into my calling; not going through the motions of life, but having a zeal for life. I moved forward with a purpose and a mission, to make the world a better place. I wrote down on a sticky note that day, “If I could only say 1 more thing, what would it be?”

This refocused me to what is truly important; it moved me to be undistracted.

God brought me back to being myself that day, finding my path again, and chasing my purpose.


 

But don’t we all have times like that hike in life? We have a plan laid out, sometimes we even have it mapped rock by rock, then we look down for too long. We lose sight of what truly matters, our focus, our passions.

Don’t be like me crossing the river. Don’t have a plan or a goal in place, just to end up standing there with your feet in the muck, lost on your next step, lost in direction, and out of focus.

 

Take a minute today and evaluate. Have you looked down? Are you focused on your goals and your passions, or are you distracted? Are you reaching your full potential, or just existing?

I’ve attached a pdf for you to download. It’s free. Just take a minute to look at it, be honest with yourself and answer the questions…

It's time to reroute.


MM-Don't look down
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Download • 178KB


By the way...we made it across ;)



1 Comment


Sarah Sharpe Shore
Sarah Sharpe Shore
Apr 29, 2022

I had looked down for too long; I lost my direction.” - Very VERY powerful words. Reading this has helped me pin down what it is I’ve been experiencing in my own life. Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, knowledge… It helps to know I’m not alone! Today I will do my best to look up and stay focused... Thank you for guiding me towards this mindset!

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