Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Turning Thirty: Utilizing The Chinese Fire Drill

The thought of turning thirty next month continues to show up in my mind from time to time. 
Mostly just when I wake up or fall asleep. Sometimes in my dreams. 

I consider the age of thirty and everything I thought it would encompass when I was younger - in my teens and early twenties. At that naive, marshmallowy point in my life I figured by thirty I would be married to a guy I met in college and raising three kids on a farm with sweet corn in the garden. 

I was way off. 

I didn't meet The One in college, 
we have no children but plenty of cows and 
this spring we reseeded what was the garden back into grass. And though it seems I'm not living what I believed to have wanted 10+ years ago, I'm quite happy. I'm happy that together we're laying the ground work for a remarkable life, when not busy working cattle or selling the other's belongings in garage sales.

It is interesting the life map we mentally design for ourselves. The routes we plan to take and the anticipated stops along the way. And as we check off the things we get done, the places we see or the people we meet, it can be easy to forget that the simple days lived only to meet the next obligation or destination is actually life

I've always enjoyed studying maps and finding the best way to get somewhere, though not necessarily the quickest. As of late, I've realized that perhaps life without the map brings as much joy - or more - to a person. While I've focused on checking all the boxes, it's my hope I remember a bit of the view. Even when I'm (gasp!) SEVENTY.

Really, who are we to assume we get to pick the route? The school, the job, the house, the spouse - sure, all of these things become our choice and determine our direction. And since we're the ones determining the direction in which we move confidently 

that also makes us the driver. Keeping the foot on the gas and a close watch in the rear view mirror

The closer I creep towards thirty-years-old, the more clearly I realize the importance of a Chinese fire drill. Letting someone else take the wheel. Because beyond the map and the plan, I now understand that I simply can't do all of the driving. 

No matter how much I intend to use a map to route my life and the stops I anticipate, God is the ultimate navigator. He knows our end point, and the route we must take to get there. 
The pit stops
flat tires
amazing sunsets
blinding sunrises
dirty windshields 
speeding tickets and 
uncomfortable hours 
are all part of the trip planned for me.

And you. 

Don't be afraid to take a back road every once in a while, tossing the map in the back seat. Sometimes flat tires and other obstacles turn out to be blessings. Construction only means that better things are on the way. It is ok if you take a bit longer to get to the destination.

Be confident enough to allow a 
Chinese fire drill 
in your life. 

Chinese fire drills give you the opportunity to enjoy the view and put the navigation in Someone Else's hands. 

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