Many years ago when I first began driving, I moved to live with my dad about 130 miles from my mom. Mom and dad had divorced when I was 9 years old, so we had made the trip more times then I could count, but I never paid attention since I wasn’t the one driving.
I wanted to go visit mom and my friends. Dad was kind enough to allow me to take his car and go see them for a few days.
Now this was wwaaayyy before cell phones, GPS, Mapquest, or any of the other very helpful tools that we have now for navigation. I had a map that you would get for free sometimes or purchase at the gas station.
The map was all fine and dandy—provided you could read it. I didn’t bother to get out a marker and study it to make sure I was positive I understood where I was going, nor did dad. He said, ‘it’s easy, just stay on I-15 and you’ll be fine.
I drove down following the signs and made it to mom’s, visited friends in a near-by town and had a blast.
When it was time to go home I said good-bye to friends, hugged mom with teary eyes and started my drive back.
A ways down the road I came to signs and chose I-15 as dad had said.
Driving for an hour or so I recognized the area, as it was familiar to me, but knew I was not where I was supposed to be. It was a another small town I had once lived in, however not the larger city I was meant to be in by now.
I had to drive for miles in order to find change for a pay phone (ask your mom or grandma if you don’t know what this is) and called dad. Luckily he was home. I told him where I was and said I had stayed on I-15 just as he had instructed. That is when he and I realized I had taken I-15 South instead of I-15 North.
Why my story you may ask?
Well, because it is hard to end up at the right destination if we don’t have, or know, a correct course or path our self.
Stan and I were asked to volunteer at the Women’s state prison facility once a month for a couple of years.
When arriving, first we had to be let into the building by being escorted by those with a special clearance, higher than ours. It was several hundred feet to the security, allowing us into the area where we would be with the women prisoners for the evening.
Often, as we moved from doors to the other side, I would slow my steps to peer through the glass window to my left. I watched the women inmates who had earned the privilege to visit with their family or friends.
My heart would break and my eyes teared, as I saw so frequently saw the grandmother or grandfather with the grandchildren in tow, visiting their daughters, the mothers of the children.
Visibly the grandparent was burdened in every aspect of life with the situation their posterity was in. It mattered not who had caused what; it was reality to be lived with, each and every single day for the woman, the grandparent and the children.
I still say a pray for all of those involved, anywhere in the world, who have made poor choices to be in such situations due to their own selfishness, or from lack of correct teaching and training.
How does the women in the prison relate to my drive to see my mom and getting lost?
1- My first mistake was not to take the time, or effort to make sure I understood the map
Laziness, Distration and Apathy
2- My second mistake was to not have change for a payphone ready
Are we spiritually, emotionally and physically prepared for the challenges of today?
How can we do this? Do we take the time to study and ponder what do we believe, what do we care about, what are our values and morals? How do we become a better person?
3- My third mistake was to not ask mom before I left for directions, I had another chance for help and didn’t take it!
I have a list of 6 B’s to help us become better prepared to LEARN so we can PRACTICE and BECOME the kind of person others can trust to follow for peace and happiness, as my header guides:
These are some of the ways we can have bearing and direction to lead our-self, our family and our posterity in happiness.
We may not be in a physical prison as those women were on the other side of the glass.
We may not be in the middle of a lonely road with only jack rabbits scampering about as company as we try to figure out the road signs.
Becoming a worthy shadow, a trusted guide, does not happen overnight, nor easily. It is made up of daily choices. Sometimes we will fail or feel it is not worth all the effort and sacrifice. Yet, if we are determined to do a bit better, keep trying, succeed, back slide, attempt again; going through this process over and over – through our lifetime. The victory is in the quest as we never give up or accept defeat.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today