I took a drive on Saturday since it was a bit chilly. I'll have to do #3 another time. :) But I did cross another thing off my list. Go check it out.
So, I took a drive on some back roads. You know the ones.. They curve this way and that, roll up and down hills; passing the occasional farm and surrounded by lush nature. Sometimes it felt like I was the only who'd been on that road before and I barely passed another vehicle. I rolled down my window, put on my summer mix CD and.. Looked. Really looked.
The beauty of the day, of the earth, brought tears to my eyes a few times. I often slowed down the car to just revel in the magnificence. Wow.
I'm not sure how one can look at a meadow, the sky, a passing river and deny a Creator.. It makes me so, so, so thankful for my parents, my family, my friends, my parishes and the crosses I have beared (born?barren?). Why? Because they've shaped me to be able to see God -- to feel Him and to be overwhelmed by His presence, brought to tears with the sight of His hand -- in the little things.
I have driven these roads many times. I've passed these same farms, these same verdant pastures. But only when my eyes are truly open and watching can I see the beauty.
Similarly, I have picked up my crosses every day. I've carried some for years, not necessarily well, and known them intimately. But only when I've opened my heart to them have I been able to really see the journey; to experience a glimpse of soul-beauty as I crest the top of an emotional hill or feel the sweetness of a virtue gained as I reflect on a hardship carried.
It's like: Oh! Look! There's where I really learned to be empathetic. Hmm.. I see how He's helped to guard my purity there. Oh boy.. Here comes the hill of honesty! Uh oh.. The valley of humility.. (that one is deep).
Up and down.
Our lives are one big country drive, aren't they?
Question is.. Are you fueled up? (The Sacraments) Are you listening to the GPS? (The Church) Do you know the way? (Jesus) Do you have the right road-trip drink? (Canada Dry Ginger Ale)
Because the end result of one of these drives is not the middle of nowhere.
And each leg of the journey isn't necessarily this enjoyable and peaceful.. But its moments like these that remind us of the big picture. The destination and scope of the experience makes it meaningful.