But there's one thing that I did not count on....one thing that I never considered and that one thing is the obstacles that I would encounter.....Going against the wind!
The following story was told to me this morning by my Hubby. He had this awesome experience I want to share with you.
He is an avid biker, bicycles that is.....well he used to be. Right now he's not in his top shape for riding, but he has been feeling the pull of the road. However, even though the pull has been strong and his desire building, he has been putting it off. You see he has had chronic insomnia for over 30 years. He averages 0 to 3 hours of sleep on a good night and sometimes there is no sleep at all. He says, that the mere fact of having so little sleep, is the very reason why he can't fulfill his dreams....reach his goals....do the very thing he loves ~ riding is bike.
I hear what he's saying and I so agree that that is a very good reason not to even try. I mean I can't even fathom that kind of problem. If I got the little bit of sleep he gets....I could not function. I need my sleep!!
Prior to the talk with my Hubby, we heard a sermon from our Pastor telling us about his depression...about his journey to wellness and overcoming this debilitating problem in his life. He told us that he feels that his depression is not a disease...a problem that only drugs can cure, but he feels that the depression is a symptom of the real problems in his life. He said the depression is an excuse to not really face those problems.
So as my Hubby and I discussed this together, he went on to tell me about his bike ride he recently had. It was a beautiful Oregon morning. Sunny blue skies, crisp and bright. He donned on the proper gear, the bike was ready to go, he had enough nourishment and water...it was time! He had taken an OK ride the day before, kind of like a warm up and achieved 12 miles for his efforts. This day however, felt like it was a turning point day. Not only did he want to achieve 12 miles, but he wanted to double it!! Now keep in mind, this is a man who can easily do MS150's....That's 150 miles!! So 24 miles should be no problem. Piece of cake ~ Right?
So he sets out on his ride...and decides to take a path that he's taken before. You see....he's done this many, many times and always had great success. I mean...no problems!! Should have been no problem this day. So he sets out...He was so excited for the goal...but the one thing he did not anticipate was the obstacles in the road. He did not count on the wind!!!
On his first 12 miles, he felt great! Sunny breezy beautiful day. Here's where the obstacles came. When he turned around to start back, he did not realize how really windy it was. You see on his first 12 miles, the wind was at his back, pushing him along. There were no other obstacle...things were in order and good! It was easy. It was a straight path to his goal.
But going back the other way was a whole different story. Now he was facing the wind. He said he felt like he had entered a storm. The wind was so strong he was going no where fast!....Ever felt like that in your journey? He was working and fighting to gain some distance with very little luck. His frustration grew when a pack of bike riders flew past him, with ease, leaving him in the dust. Seems they did not realize there was a storm! At this point, my Hubby was really disappointed in himself, making things even harder to do.
Just like my journey....it seems there are those who blow right past me with their success. Seeming to make it with ease...no problems.
Hubby said, he realized it was all in his perspective. You see, he did not use the wind...he fought against it. The bike pack helped each other, encouraged each other to make it through the wind. My Hubby was fighting against it. He said it occurred to him that the obstacle is not a bad thing. He said, a sailboat captain never looks at wind as bad. It's needed. That boat won't move without it. So wind is not the problem....it's how you use it!
It was at this point, that he began to realize that this bad wind, obstacle....might not be so bad after all. This obstacle was purposeful. There was something to be learned.
All of a sudden Hubby's perceptive changed. He began to look up and and see what was really going on.
Now my Hubby is a prideful man....something he does not want to be. He makes his mind up about something and that's just the way it is. His biking goals is to approach all things in the same gear. Now he has 21 gears on his bike and these gears are supposed to help him when facing certain obstacles. But his prideful self just does not want to "rely" on these helpful tools. In your journey, have you noticed if you've been prideful in any aspect of what you are doing? So set on what you "think" is right and not willing to rely on something that may really help you? Hummmm...I'm so there!! Anyway, on this day, Hubby found that his pride was not helping him get home. He was seriously contemplating calling someone to get him. Finally he decided that he had to let go of his pride and "Switch" gears and on the bike to help him make distance. He not only switched the bike gears, but he also had to switch gears in his attitude and his thinking to get the job done. This was not a straight path home to success!
He said, "When God shows me a path, His path, I never take it. I say "Nope"...I'm doing it my way. I'm always missing what He is trying to show me. Like the little reminders that I have 21 gears to help me through. No I wanted to go my own way. Seems when I say no to Him, He just gives me a little more wind."
Soon, not only was he struggling with the wind and worried about getting home, but his knees, neck and back started to hurt and his attitude was sinking to new lows.
Then he really had to start "thinking" about the obstacles. Yeah he was experiencing one, he was not sure he was going to make it. Then finally he looked up and saw a left turn up ahead.
This was just what he needed. With new encouragement he pushed toward this new "short term" goal. Once he got to the turn, he realized that the wind was not pushing him in the face, it was not slowing him down. but maybe even helping him a little. On this turn he found that he could rest a little, but still put in the distance. He said that he felt so much joy at this turn in the road and he knew that the Lord was with him.
Much too soon, he saw that his small slice of heaven was quickly coming to an end and there, just up ahead was a right turn into the wind. He said, he started naming the turns...one stretch was Destruction Blvd, one was Stormy Circle, and Call a Cab Avenue for the turns that were in the wind and all the good stretches were called Hope Street. Cute! Anyway, he said he could not face the whole journey all at once. He said, he just had to FOCUS on each stretch, one piece at a time. He said, after each difficult stretch, he felt triumphant and joyful and he would give thanks to the Lord.
As he was getting closer and closer to home, he realized a couple of things....
- In everything we do...there will always be twists and turns in the journey.
- We should consider that there may be reasons for the twists, turns and obstacles. Don't let them throw you off your plan. Look to see what the Lord is trying to show you along the way.
- Adjust your attitude. So what if the wind is blowing in your face...keep pushing through!
- When obstacle come, we should learn how to use them to our advantage to help us reach our goals.
- When you are on a straight path with no obstacle....there is no guiding. It's easy! It's when you have the obstacles (the winds) that come ~ that's when the guiding comes. Have to trust that the Lord knows exactly what we need and will get us to our goals.
- Wind at your back is easy.....you're not necessarily thinking about the Lord and what he can do for you. It when you turn back and you're facing the wind (you obstacles) that you start thinking about the Lord and asking him for help. Need to focus on the Lord at all times!
- You can't always ride with the wind!
After my long talk with my Hubby and getting back to our Pastors sermon. What we discovered when thinking about my Hubby's insomnia is that that problem is his excuse. After much discussion we realized that the real problem, the real thing stopping him from achieving his goals is fear! That is the problem!!! The sad thing is...if he would just face his fear and get out on his bike, that the physical activity may just help him sleep. (When he does ride...he gets more sleep). So what's stopping him?
I can so relate to him because I suffer from the same problem ~ fear! It has stopped me so many times from doing things that will help me reach my goals.
So now that it's out in the open, we are going to encourage each other to break through that fear and start achieving our goals!
Other nuggets from my Hubby....He said, "The journey is not a straight path.....No where is the journey straight....You will go through the storms and winds of life! Look for the lessons that the Lord is showing you. I did not see any lesson when I was riding with the wind...I saw it only when I turned around facing the wind! Once I embraced it...I found success! I often find myself leaning on myself only...allowing my health and lack of sleep to be my crutch and my excuse! Today, I'm going to start leaning on my God and quit making excuses!!"
I so love my Hubby!
This story helped me see that the journey is not a straight path to success. It's a journey of obstacles. Even with all the tools and support I have, I'm still going to be bumped off my plan. The new thing that I learned, is sometimes there's something I need to learn during these times of obstacles. So now, instead of fighting the obstacles, I'm going to look for my lesson and even some miracles! I'm never going to take my eyes of the goal, but I will keep pushing through whatever is given to me and fight until I get there!
How about you....Do you fight the wind?