13 Aug An opportunity to climb
I recently learned something about dreaming big and achieving more from our 12-year-old son.
Last week, we took a vacation to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. We love this part of the country which is filled with rich history, incredible monuments (some man-made… some made by God) and great people.
Early one morning, our youngest son and I got up and decided to go on a hike.
There was a trail that a local outfitter had directed us to. It was a trail we hadn’t explored yet and we were both itching to check it out. So we threw some things in the Jeep and drove. It took us a while to find the trail head. In fact, we drove by it twice! (Yeah… it was that kind of trail!) But once we found it… we got even more excited.
We made our way up the narrow path. We wound through old timber and along a trickling stream. It was a glorious 72 degrees which was a welcome change from the scorching hot temps of our Iowa summer. So much so that when a cool breeze blew through the trees… I couldn’t help but have a big goofy grin on my face.
We navigated the trail that the outfitter had pointed us to. We came to a couple of forks… and took the turns that had been suggested.
But then it happened.
We came to a part of the trail that seemed to lead right up to a rock face.
Yup… it was… trail… trail… trail… wall.
And it wasn’t a small little boulder. We’re talking a rock face that seemed to shoot up 100+ feet!
It almost seemed like a trick.
There we were… in the middle of a forest we hadn’t explored before, following a trail we’d never been on and the path led right up to a wall.
I have to admit that I got a little frustrated. No… I got A LOT frustrated. I started to get a little mad at the outfitter… wondering if he was laughing somewhere at the thought that he’d sent the out-of-towners on a wild goose chase. Next, I started to get mad at myself… wondering if I’d somehow missed a turn or navigated one of the forks incorrectly.
But then I heard it.
It was my 12-year-old.
As he saw the wall… he simply said, “Cool.”
Then moved right past me and he started to look for a way to climb it.
He walked right up… and started to look for hand holds… steps… and cracks. He was just as excited to climb that wall as he was to walk the trail we’d been on.
Now… I’d love to say that the epiphany hit me right then and there. But I missed it at first. I have to admit there was a part of me who wanted to let him know he should be frustrated too. Heck, I hate to admit it… but there was even a part of my heart that wanted to dismiss his enthusiasm as “childish.”
But guess what happened. He stepped up on a rock to look for a place to start his climb… but then he said, “Oh here it is.”
He stepped over the rock… and found where the trail picked back up again.
That’s when it hit me.
That’s when I got struck with the phrase…
“Some people see a wall, when others see an opportunity to climb.”
I saw the wall.
So options were cut off. My creativity was shut down. I got frustrated. I put my grumpy pants on. And I wanted everyone to join my little pity party.
My son saw an opportunity to climb.
He saw options. His creativity came alive. He was having fun. He got excited. He wanted everyone to join him on an adventure.
Our son wasn’t being childish. He was being child-like. He had a faith that there would be a way. We just had to find it.
He took the wall as a challenge… and he did it with gusto.
As a result… he found a way.
How about you?
I’m guessing there might be some rock faces for you this week. Maybe they aren’t in the form of granite or sandstone. But I’m betting there are some walls.
Are you looking at them like I did… with your grumpy pants on?
Or… are you looking at them like our 12-year-old saw that rock wall?
What if… this week… we saw the “opportunity to climb?”
What if… as we looked at some of those walls that are standing in the way of our big dreams and our big goals for this week… what if we had a child-like faith that we could find a way… over… around… or through those walls?
What if… and this is a little audacious… what if we decided to have some fun as we did it?
I’m in. How about you?
Join in the discussion. What’s a way that you want to remind yourself to look at those “walls” as an opportunity to climb? How do you want to encourage others to do the same? Heck… maybe we should even have a “wall-climbing club?” I’ll get the t-shirts!
Who’s with me?
Make it a great week!
Keep dreaming BIG and helping others to do the same,