When I was 15, I went on a trip with the youth group from my local church. It was a pilgrimage we took every year during Spring Break to a big youth festival in Arkansas.
This particular year was my first time on this trip; it was meant for high school students only, and I was finally a freshman, filled with pride and excitement at the idea of a weeklong, parent-free trip on the old school bus.
Ah, the old school bus. It’s one of the things that made the trip so exciting to me. There was so much room to sprawl out, to lie down and nap anywhere you wanted.
I found the most comfortable place to sleep was on the floor, parallel with the seat and the back of the seat in front of me—right where your feet would go, if you were riding properly. It was quiet and away from most of the light during the day. And, it was pretty tight. I didn’t mind that; I thought it was cozy.
One day, however, I awakened to what I had discovered is perhaps my worst fear. I was lying on my side, and when I woke up from my nap, I found that I couldn’t move my body. It had “gone to sleep” the way your arm might if someone were leaning against it for too long.
Everyone else had gone into the rest stop, leaving me to continue my nap. I was alone. I called out, but nobody heard me. Finally, I was able to relax my mind enough to will myself to roll over. I was fine, just freaked out.
It was only temporary.
When you’re unemployed for a long stretch of time, you begin to wonder about your purpose. Do I have one? Am I needed? Is there anyone out there who needs what I can offer?
Trying to move forward can often times bring with it its own sense of paralysis—a feeling like you just can’t move.
I wonder why that is.
Do I feel paralyzed because I’m afraid of failure? Am I afraid of success? Those questions seem silly. Of course I’m afraid to fail…who isn’t? Maybe that’s obvious. But, afraid of success? What does that even mean?
Thinking about this lately, I wonder if it means that if I finally succeed at something I truly desire, something I’ve chased after for so long, I’ll also find that what I have desired all along will not be all I thought it would be? What happens then? What happens when the dog finally catches the car?
Each moment is here and then it is gone.
Everything is temporary.
Moments turn into days, days to months, and months to years. So, I ask myself, are you breathing in this moment right now? Are you loving as fully in this span of time as you can love?
Making the most of every moment seems very cliché in some ways; there are volumes of books about the idea. But, there’s something profound in taking the time to ponder a moment and all of the gratitude that can be found in it.
Lying on the floor of that bus so long ago, I was scared of the thought of being paralyzed, but I was also amazingly grateful in the knowledge that it was only temporary.
Everything is temporary…