Lessons from the trail
January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
I love our running trail. Mostly because it isn’t strictly a running trail. People cycle, children learn to ride bicycles, parents walk with their children in strollers and on scooters, elderly couples grasp hands tightly as they walk without saying a word, even a few patients from the hospital come to sit along the waters edge to get a breath of fresh air. Everyone enjoying themselves, enjoying the nature around them. This trail is not exclusive. It is very inclusive. It invites all shapes, all sizes, all life circumstances. All are welcome on my running trail. And, I love it.
I started thinking about how inclusivity is the most important thing for developing valuable, long lasting relationships. Sure, it isn’t possible all the time. But, taking the time to invite someone new, offer a helping hand where it is needed, and by stepping in the gap of awkwardness we reap some of the greatest rewards.
I observed that when serious cyclists would buzz past families with their heads down on a mission to push as fast as they could, the parents would be shaken, the children would be startled, and the cyclist would be long gone on his mission of awesomeness. I noticed this when another cyclist would move out of the way so that the parents could pass by with their children, the parents would smile, and nod a thank you, and the children would have a great big grin because they were able to peddle out of the way on their own. The cyclist with a yielding nature invited the family into the trail instead of pushing them on the outside.
Our lives are full of moments when we can invite or exclude. It is up to us to observe the others on the trail with us. If we focus only on ourselves we force others out of our lives. By opening and yielding ourselves to others, we can truly experience love in its purest form. The more opportunities that we are given to yield, the greater our sense of love for others will be. Yielding can be difficult. It may slow us down. It may change the direction or course of our plan. But, in yielding we can realize the depths of grace, mercy, and forgiveness.