BEAUTY OUTSIDE OF CONTROL
I have found myself, in the past couple of years, on more hikes than I would have expected for the not so outdoorsy girl that I am. In recent years, that is mostly because of who Harrison is and how much he loves adventure, which is something I love and admire most about him. It's always a toss up what my attitude will be like when we begin a hike. My mood fluctuates and my breathing definitely ebbs and flows (I'm more of a yoga and barre girl and like to avoid cardio when I can). A few weeks ago we went on a hike that I knew going in to I was not excited about. I was doing it because he wanted to, ya know being a selfless newly married wife and all (yet, it's not exactly selfless when I was emphasizing the fact that I was only going because he wanted to and I was a far cry from being humble).
I found myself on the hike with my head down most of the time, just pushing through so I could get to the top and turn around. Harrison would point something out or notice something around us and I had been entirely unaware. I would miss a lot of what is beautiful in this world if it wasn't for him and his patience to stop me and remind me to pick my head up. I realized that part of the reason I wasn't enjoying the hike was because I was lacking control. I couldn't control when it ended, I couldn't just stop walking and hop in the car and I couldn't control the difficulty level of the hike (the beauty of control buttons on a treadmill!). My mind was stuck in what was out of my control.
In hindsight, there were a lot of things I could control. I could have picked my head up to look at what was around me and even more important, I could've been more conscious and in control of my attitude. All too often, I am too selfish to find something good in an experience that wasn't necessarily my first choice. I see it as something that didn't go my way and stay in the negative space rather than working to control my attitude and except the new experience as one that could be positive and maybe even better than what I had planned.
When I feel out of control, I want to keep my head down rather than look to see what the Lord is doing. Rather than give it a chance to be more beautiful than I have plotted in my mind. This could easily be the story of my life, but in an effort to be more conscious of my attitude, I pray it won't be. I'm learning (ever so slowly) that many times there is more beauty in the sweet surprises the Lord throws our way. The unexpected turns in our stories are truly wonderful when we are willing to pick our heads up, see them and accept them.