Monday, November 17, 2008


I am facing several major life decisions at this point in time. That’s never an easy place to find oneself in. Even when the choices are ‘good’ it is still stressful and often difficult to determine the best course of action.

I’ve always been a goal and achievement oriented person. I like to make my plan and work my plan. Even as a little girl I was big into writing ‘to do’ lists and organizing my activities. It’s always come quite naturally to me.

This is a mixed blessing. Being organized, efficient and focused can be a huge benefit in the living of one’s life. I’ve achieved a lot of success due to these traits and abilities.

Yet, there is a downside to this skill set. Sometimes I have a tendency to make things happen by sheer force of will and determination. Once in a while I make something happen that might be better left un-done.

A few days ago, I was contemplating one of my many decisions. I had already started down a course of action to begin addressing one of my life dilemmas. As usual, I dove into my ‘solution’ deeply, and suddenly realized that my approach might not be the best option. The particular solution seemed like the right path, but it involved lots of time and some money. Both are in short supply at the time. As it appeared to be an incorrect choice, I was considering backing out of the strategy and cutting my losses. Of course, I never like to backtrack. I don’t like to be wrong. In my enthusiasm for ‘solving’ my problem, I might have rushed a bit to execute a concrete strategy. This is a familiar dance to me.

This thought process was taking place in my car, as I drove to an appointment. As I went along, I came to a red light and slowed to a stop. I was behind a double dump truck. As I pulled in behind the truck I noticed in large, capital, red letters the following words on the back of the truck:


I started to laugh. We have a lot of dump trucks in our area, all the time. NEVER, have I seen one with the words “DO NOT PUSH” on the back of it.

I immediately flashed on the scene from one of my favorite movies, “Bruce Almighty” where Bruce, in his despair and frustration is ranting at God and asking for a ‘sign’ about what he should do in his challenge. He’s driving along in his car, yelling at God to give him a sign. As he’s doing this, we as the spectators, are amused to see him ignoring a series of ‘danger’ and ‘warning’ signs to try to turn him from the path he’s on… including a slow moving truck FULL of street signs that is slowing him down as he drives erratically towards his doom. He is begging God for signs and then ignores each and every one of them!

As a recovering ‘overachiever’ I looked at the DO NOT PUSH sign and realized that my old tendency to ‘push the river’ was back in full force to visit me. When I get scared I seek certainty. I look for absolute, concrete answers. Sometimes those are possible, but often they are not readily apparent when we set out to solve a problem. Sometimes we have to take steps, but allow the solution to present itself, rather than create an instant solution that makes us feel better for a moment, but might cause more problems than it solves!

I’m going to do my best to actually observe and respect the ‘sign’ I was given. I’m going to work on ‘allowing’ rather than ‘pushing’ for a while. I suspect it will be a more pleasant journey.

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