Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shake That Ass... Step It Up

Lately, many of those whom I hold dear have been going though some pretty significant changes in their lives. Changes in their employment, their relationships, their residential location, etc.

For all of us, with change there are moments of fear, uncertainty. The second guessing if the choices we have made are going to pan out the way we had anticipated; had hoped for.

My son, James, has recently taken the leap to make some bold moves to secure a better life for his family. They saved every penny they could, sold off nearly every possession they had, gave notice at work, packed up the cars, strapped in the babies and headed off to the expansive plains of  Iowa.

There were some hiccups along the way; there always are when you travel with little ones. One always seems to come across the less-than-perfect motel along the way, the ever-present stop and interrogation by the bored highway patrol who's noticed the loaded down out-of-state vehicle caravan driving along an abandoned stretch of highway in the middle of the night. And the never-ending pangs of being homesick. Those of us who have made such journeys understand this all too well.

If it's not one thing knocking you down, it's another, it seems. I've been there myself. I know how discouraging it can be. I know how hard it is to try to see the positive in your present circumstances.

But, much like I have been trying to lovingly relay to my son and his wife, if you just shove the negatives aside and try  to see the positives in your situation, there is a glimmer of hope to be found.

Just as I was remembering my own trials survived during cross-country treks in my earlier years, and trying to find the sentiments of support for my kids, I came across this story and wanted to share it.

It's all in how you view things...

One day, a farmer's donkey fell down into a well.The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, the farmer decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

The farmer invited all of his neighbors to come over to help him fill in the well. One by one, they grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried out horribly in protest. Then, to everyone's amazement, the donkey settled down and quieted.

After a few more shovels -full of dirt were thrown into the well, the farmer looked down and was amazed at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that his the donkey's back, the donkey would shake off the dirt and take a step up onto the growing mound of dirt beneath him.

As the neighbors continued to shovel, the donkey continued to shake it off and step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off to the fields.

The moral of the story is this: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the lifes' wells is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles are a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest well just by not stopping, never giving up.... Shake it off and take a step up.