Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Taking the Long Way Around

I had a strange afternoon today. I was sitting in the absolute quiet of our parish offices this afternoon (after hours and the staff had gone home) when we had a power outage. I'm lost without an internet connection, and the phones were down also, so I packed up and headed home. We have these "rolling blackouts" on hot days in Fresno...when the afternoon temps go over 105, it's not uncommon for entire sections of town to go dark for a few hours. I'm always left hoping that those who require emergency medical devices have operating generators in their homes...

So I jumped into the car and headed home, but saw immediately that the stoplight at the nearest major intersection was flashing red. Normally, it takes me about six minutes to go from Church to home, but that involves going through several major intersections.

I decided, taking a page from the driving manual of my darling husband, to opt for a different route home. I actually took off driving in the opposite direction of home, heading down smaller streets with less traveled intersections. The trip took longer than usual, but was much shorter than it would have been had I gone the more direct route and encountered endless waits at each of the flashing red light intersections.

I had time to ponder on the way, and thought about how sometimes the most direct route to something isn't always the BEST route.

We talk a lot about this topic in my Weight Watchers group. Some group members become frustrated by the seemingly very slow rate of weight loss they experience. I frequently comment that perhaps this slow pace is the more effective (and healthy) long term solution. While losing slowly, they are learning and applying the healthy habits that will help them to maintain their weight goals in the long run.

One of the keys to this "long way around" scenario is, however, persistence. If you quit halfway to your ultimate goal, you may find yourself even farther than you were when you started. Detours are ok, if we keep our eyes on the prize and have the strength of heart and will to continue along the chosen path.

I have several life goals I'm pursuing. For some of them, I've chosen the speedy route. For others, I meander along hoping that I will have the persistence to get there some day. I don't intend to may just take me a little longer to get there.

Today, taking the long way home had an added benefit: by the time I got there, Daddy had cooked dinner, fed the boys, and washed the dishes. It's amazing what one night off from those chores will do for a Mom's spirit!


Cami said...

Ah, Lisa...this is the kind of thing that has made me a "fan" ;) What wonderful things an open heart to God in every little thing produces!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa -- This reminds me of my favorite song on Nora Jones' latest album "(I Always) Take the Long Way Home". This "Moment" of yours is a masterpiece -- filled with terrific insights and inspiration. I was reading an excerpt from "Mens Health" about Mark Davis who reduced his weight from 365 to 190 and took four years to accomplish the feat by losing 8/10 of a pound per week. Since that time he has completed three Ironman triathlons. I like what you say about the importance of persistence, and I believe that getting off to a good start is paramount. It's like the old story about creating a good habit pattern -- If you run up to creek bed to jump over it, and stop just before you get to it, you have wasted energy and good intention, and the creek is still there. You Da Man!! L & M, Dad