Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Pathway in the Mind

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."

Henry David Thoreau

I like this quote by Thoreau. I am thinking about how true it is.

Our moving schedule was compacted dramatically for me by a set of unexpected developments. I have less time to pack up my household than I thought. I never envisioned a scenario like this one and was completely unprepared.

When presented with the choices, I weighed all the pros and cons and considered the aspects of our circumstances. I picked an early date that seemed to be the soonest one that was also reasonable, even though it was a little later than our buyer would have preferred. Now, I wonder, what was I thinking? Didn't I realize how much stuff we have?

I've worked feverishly for two days. Everything we own is being sorted into three categories: long-term storage; short-term storage; and keep-close-at-hand. It's not packing like any I have done before. It's complicated. Members of the family must be consulted. We have to do all of this ourselves. Other people can't make these decisions. Try as I might, the clock seems to be moving faster than I can. It now seems like a fool's folly to get it all done in a week. The house had been pared down, yes, for showing. It's not like we are starting at the beginning. But still, we've a long way to go, and the time I figured we had is now shorter than I ever guessed it might be.

During challenges like this, the quality of the thoughts I have habitually chosen can either give me wings or chain me to the ground. I have to choose, nearly every hour, to be patient and to have faith. It would be so easy to give into anxiety or a sense of despair. This is a time for courage, for hope, for love, and yes, for patience.

Have you ever noticed how these crises catch us unexpectedly? We know they might happen. But we are usually not expecting them in the way they come, or at the time they arrive. For me, there is always a sense that I have only whatever I've already walked out every day. No time to get ready. That was yesterday. This is today. Anything I don't have, I will just do without.

And it's a reminder that I need to build depth into my character and live wisely, making the most of my time. For I know neither the hour, nor the day, of my testing.


  1. Wow. Sounds like you're in the cooker with the lid clamped down and the temp's set on high. It is good (for us)to know how to pray; it is good (for you)to hear that we are. jl

  2. ps ~ I love your post. It is about living with intention, rather than with a sense of being without choice when things are happening to and around us. It is a wonderful reminder to me, that it is possible (to choose a particular quality of life) and that I must choose, continually. Thank you.

  3. "Try as I might, the clock seems to be moving faster than I can.
    But still, we've a long way to go, and the time I figured we had is now shorter than I ever guessed it might be."

    I had to copy out these two thoughts, though I don't want to do them an injustice by being out of context. Both those phrases, those thoughts are so nice, so real, beautifully crafted to convey exactly where you are.

    Thanks for sharing this experience with us.


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