Wednesday, October 22, 2014

~ Follow the Yellow Brick Road ~

That's me
putting one little ruby slipper in front of the other.
It's been a crazy road full of twists and turns, but thankfully no flying monkeys.
Like the scarecrow, I've fallen down on wobbly legs a time or two.
But like the cowardly lion, I found my courage and off I went.
Guess what?
It was right there in my pocket the whole time.


Now my destination is right around the corner. 

Thanks for joining me on the journey thus far

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

~ Stuck on the Sidewalk ~


Here's what I've learned along the way....

When my best friend Gail and I went to Italy, I learned one of those little life lessons that has stayed with me.
There we were, two Rubes from the Midwest who had never traveled outside the U.S.

Alone in a bustling, swirling mess, like a plate of spilled spaghetti, this city called ROME.
Only our wits to lead the way. No tour bus guide. No group to traipse behind as we stumbled along the cobblestone streets. Once we touched down, the reality of our decision to go it alone, hit me like a giant cannoli. I was frightened almost into paralysis. What in the world was I thinking, traveling half way around the world, with a only a little book of Italian phrases stuck in my back pocket?
Gail and I had plans to meet one of our parish priests our first night in Rome.
He was studying abroad and was on his way to Africa the next day, but he kindly offered to join us for dinner and share a bit of his hard-earned wisdom.
One of his best tips regarded how to maneuver around the city streets.
He said "When there's the smallest break in traffic, you just have to step off the sidewalk.
 March out into the street, looking neither left nor right.
Plow straight ahead as if you own the street and it's your right to cross.
 As long as you don't hesitate, the cars will stop. Trust me."

Are you kidding me???

You've never seen traffic until you've been in the midst of the madness of the Roman streets.
To an outsider it appears as if there are no rules at all.
Lines on the road? Only a suggestion.
Speed limits? Apparently not.
When one comes to a stop light, all the scooters come swarming up, filling in any small gap left between vehicles. Amazingly, everyone just seems to make room for the next guy.
But to actually STEP off the curb into that chaos and ASSUME that they would stop was mind boggling. Everything I'd been taught in my life told me to stand on the sidewalk.
To hold on tight.
But if Father David hadn't coached us, that's where I'd be today.
Still standing on that sidewalk, clinging to a signpost, biding my time until it was safe.

A metaphor for life?
You bet.

There are so many reasons to NOT chase after your dream
So many little voices whispering in your ear. 
Doubts piling upon doubts.
Fear and negativity disguised as rationality. 

But step off the curb, we must.
And plow forth.
Or we'll never find the life we were meant to have.
And the wonders waiting on the other side.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because
we compare our behind-the-scenes 
with everyone else's highlight reel. 

                                                 - Steve Furtrick

Don't do that.

Be brave.
Step off the sidewalk.