Mother Nature provided my area with a nice start to the spring season. Sunny, blue skies with puffy, white clouds made for some great running and biking weather the last week of March. Warmer evenings allowed the sweet smell of freshly mowed grass to waft through open windows. The light on the horizon at dawn and sunset gave reason for the spirit to be thankful and the heart to be energized.
The first few days of April brought a stark contrast in the weather with very high winds, gray skies, torrential rains, sleet, and snow. Despite the quick change in temperature and less than stellar running and biking conditions, I managed to find some positive things to contemplate, such as the beautiful patterns in the snow clouds, the graceful movement of the clouds through the atmosphere, and the continuing growth of budding trees and plants.
In reflecting upon the sights, sounds, and events of the past week, I found myself thankful for the good and the bad of each day. Sometimes we fail to see the good, which can affect our perspective in life. Other times, we may not fully grasp the severity of the bad, which has the potential to lead us astray or down a path upon we really don’t wish or need to be.
As we traverse the journey of life, we learn about ourselves, our surroundings, and our perspectives. Each day offers to us opportunity for change. These changes may be small or large, simple or complex, wanted or unwanted, necessary or frivolous. In all of these scenarios, we have choices to make that allow us to continue forward upon the journey.
Just as changes in the weather affect our moods and our environments, our choices affect others as well as ourselves. We often don’t realize how influential we are to others or how our words and actions have the potential to be negative or positive.
Recently, I began walking once a week with a friend. The experience has been most helpful to me, for it has allowed me to know my friend better, learn more about myself, observe my surroundings, and see a different view of life in general. Walking has also allowed me to reconnect with an activity that I very much enjoy, yet never seem to have time to do. I was a walker before I started running and biking, so I feel like a part of my life has come around full circle, back to the activity that started my fervor for exercise many years ago.
Benefits of Balance
Adding walking to my weekly routine adds balance to my activity levels. While I enjoy running and biking most, I find switching the routine once in a while challenges the mind, body, and soul. This challenge also helps in learning to accept change and in building character.
Though we may not realize it, we all need challenge in order to grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. While these experiences may be difficult or may seem larger than we feel we can handle, it is the effort put forth that matters most. Effort builds endurance, endurance builds character, character builds relationships, and relationships build life.
Keeping the Faith
Our lives are an intricate weave of seasons, people, places, and things. As we make our way along the journey, we find ourselves both lost and found in different ways. Our human nature tells us to seek in order to find. Our faith tells us to persevere despite the conditions in order to become who we need to be and who God needs us to be.
Though many aspects of life clamor for our attention, we sometimes need to stop, look, listen, and reflect in order to move forward. Sometimes, we have to let go in order to hold on. Letting go does not mean giving in or being weak. It does mean we are learning, growing, and gaining wisdom, all of which are important in sustaining ourselves and our relationships.
May we all find a way to keep the faith along the journey and to help each other through the miles.