When we hike, we usually do a loop. It never fails that my favorite quote from TS Eliot comes to mind, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
I am about to close out another loop, a big one, that is my life. And everyday feels like I am knowing or doing things, people, places, and events for the first time. Oh, I miss the days when I was chasing after my BHAG – ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ – a mantra I was enamored with when I was still worshipping at the altar of Collins and Porras, they of “Built To Last” and “Good To Great” fame. I saw everything as a challenge, a struggle to overcome. My default choice was always to go against the current: Be different! Make a difference! Do the unexpected! Go against the flow!
These days, I have greatly slowed down my pace. I go with the flow. I let go and let God. My daily goals and long-term plans are simple and ordinary: where to hike this weekend? what to have for dinner? whom among our friends or family to visit? how to meet the numbers I promised my doctor I would achieve?
But every once in a while, God comes in to remind me that He is in control of my life, like He is telling me, “I am not done with you yet. There are still some things I want to show you, some lessons for you to learn.”
The past weeks have simply been wondrously unbelievable. Mickey and Julia got married in a wedding that will be long remembered. Martin and Kathleen are raising two budding artist, one a promising rock star and the other a budding star of musicals. Macky and Lani are expecting their first baby. And this morning, they tell me that he got his full scholarship to pursue graduate studies abroad. Sure, there were bumps along the road, like a miscarriage and a death in the family. Still in all, I have this gratifying and warm feeling that everything in falling into place.
Often in the past, I was reticent about sharing such blessings with others afraid that I might jinx it and lose them. But what the heck! My heart is bursting with joy and gratitude, I just have to share them. I know I am nearing the end of my lifetime hike and I will soon close the loop and arrive where I started. All of these happenings are like the denouement of a play or a novel where the loose ends are finally tied up and the story comes to its happy ending.
But like TS Eliot has said, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”