Alright, so when I started today I had an idea about a topic for a post here, but that is not what you’re going to get… Let me explain. This morning I decided to find a new place to run as I had kind of a long one scheduled, and I’m getting a bit bored with running around my neighborhood. So, I jumped in my car and headed to Fort Fraser Trail in Lakeland. It’s only about a 15 min drive so not bad, and it is a relatively new trail. Anyway, the trail is beautiful: asphalt paved over a gently rolling path. There was plenty of scenery to keep me occupied on a 7 mile run, and to top it off there were inspirational quotes posted in large electrical poles with banners attached along the way. This is where my previous idea for the post comes in.
One of the quotes is the sports favorite:
“Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”
Great quote used by stage mothers and little league baseball coaches for years. The funny thing is that on the trail this quote is attributed to none other than Emily Dickinson! Ok, so I thought, “Wow, how ironic that someone who pretty much lived in seclusion and rarely ventured outside her home would be the author of such a positive and ‘go-getting’ sentiment!” So, I had this whole idea for a post that was built on the premise of that irony.
But, being a journalism major in college, I always back up my source. So, when I get to work I set about the business of making sure that attribution is correct…no luck… I try every Google search I can think of. I ask people around me. No luck… then I get desperate… I call the City of Lakeland Public Works Department… no, I am not kidding. Well, they don’t know but they hired a city works consultant out of Orlando for the job, and they give me the company’s phone number. Now, before I go any further, I want to admit, that I think most sane people would have stopped the search at this point. I mean calling the public works department isn’t that bad, but to go any further would be crazy. Well…note the title of this post… So, I call the consulting company. I have the name of the lead consultant, but he is out of the office until March 3rd. Probably on vacation. But they ask, “Would you like his email? He is checking it.” (I pause briefly to consider how much of a jerk I would be to email a guy on vacation about a pretty silly question…briefly.) “Sure”, I say. And as I write, this poor guy is getting an email from me asking how he and his come came to attribute the aforementioned quote to Emily Dickinson.
Now, what’s point here? Why did I waste my time, and now your time on this little project? I mean, don’t I have anything better to do? Well, yes. But the point is that I acted on something that has consumed my thoughts all day long.
What is that consumes your thoughts? Your job? Your kids? Your spouse? Bills? Some hobby? The joys of the weekend?
In the book of Proverbs chapter 23, it warns not to eat with a stingy person because they will be as stingy with you as they are with themselves. But what is significant is verse 7 in the Amplified version it says,
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
What we are obsessed with, we act on. For me… today it was that Dickinson quote. Normally, it’s with my family and our future, my service to God in His church, and its future, or really just the future. I ask myself, “Will it all be okay?” “Am I doing right by God and my wife?” “Are the plans Julie and I are making, good ones, godly ones?” “How will they be accomplished?” Now, understand, I’m not worried about those things necessarily…though sometimes I do…but those are the questions that drive my life’s actions.
What are the questions that drive your life?