Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are You Wandering or Really Headed Somewhere?

At my mother-in-law's residential complex there is an innocent man named "Walter" who spends most of his day just wandering all over the grounds. They say he's harmless and he apparently bothers no one. But in an hour or two there we'll see him go by six or seven times. He looks like he's talking to someone but it's just to himself.

It's kind of sad to think that Walter spends his day, every day, just wandering through life. I've wondered what he's thinking, if anything. I'm sure there are some mental deficiencies that keep him locked up in that orbit most of the time.

But while most of us don't wander like Walter does, I've been challenged in my own life recently to make sure I'm not just wandering around either. Sure I may be much more functional, able to vary my actions, thoughts and responses and make decisions in ways that Walter can't, but I (and you) could still be wandering.

Let me suggest what our wandering might look like.

We can wander by just doing the same things, enjoying the same little pleasures and being happy with the same routines for years on end. I wrote on that in a recent post - go back and read it if you missed it. One of the things I notice about Walter is that his expression never changes.  Interestingly, I see a lot of people all around me like that as well.  Too many of us are probably just bored so why get too excited about anything?

Or we can wander by settling for life as it is. We may feel defeated or penalized or without purpose so we just settle for what we have, what we've done in the past and accomplish little of substance. We've quit trying to overcome our challenges and won't take on a new goal, job or activity because it's a little too scary.

Or we can wander by never focusing in on the main things. We're trying to do it all or at least a lot, we want our kids to do the same but we rarely do any of it well or in a way that we deeply enjoy what we're doing. Things blur together and we flit from one event to the next forgetting much of the time what those events were in the first place.  And the main thing or things get lost in the busyness.

Or we can wander by rarely planning for the future. We just take life as it comes, react more than initiate and never plan anything special with our spouse, family or good friends. We've never made a bucket list or talked with anyone about five things we'd love to do if we only had time. We don't dream big or pray to God for a vision down the road that only He could make happen.

Are you wandering?  Are you really just another Walter?  First be thankful that you're still able to decide, turn a corner in your life and try something new. Remember that you're not paralyzed.

But then hone in on a goal, a direction, a plan, a dream. Pray for God to give you and your family some direction, a purpose that will truly change your life. Remember the big problem with wandering . . . you never really get anywhere.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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