When It Matters Most
Not long ago I was standing at the tailgate of my truck having a conversation with my dad after an evening deer hunt. You see, woodsmen roots run deep in my family and we had just returned from a usual outing. After we’d discussed what we saw and what happened I ashamedly admitted I shot at a deer and missed. Prepared for the worst, I watched as my dad paused and blatantly said, “good.” “Good?”, I questioned, not knowing if he’d heard me correct. “Now you’re prepared for the time when it matters most”, he said. I knew what he meant, I just hadn’t considered the deeper message. The weeks following were full of intentional practice and research to ensure something like that didn’t happen again. Fast forward a month and I’m met by the largest deer I’ve seen to date. Thoughts of failure loomed, but it only made me focus all the more on the task at hand. Fortunately, I was able to end the season on a high note. Though I was successful, this is not a success story. Rather, a journey of growth.
Now, more than ever, we are greeted by times when “it matters most.” Folks are getting laid off, sickness is the new normal and society’s natural bend is panic. It’s been said that everything happens for a reason. While I believe that’s entirely true, I consider the meaning to be much greater. I would argue, the things that happen to us provide a lens to help us see how to become the best versions of ourselves. The kicker is, good and bad things happen to us. We cannot change circumstances that befall us, but what we can control is who we become as a result of them. If all we ever do is blame our circumstances, we miss the point. If we choose to be grateful for the opportunity and realize what is asked of us, we become truly blessed. To assume this is the formula to an easy life would be a complete misunderstanding. Life is hard and nothing is truly given to us. If we ascribe to negativity all we’ll ever have is a negative net gain. However, if we are willing to water the right seeds at the right time, we can reap a harvest that is truly extraordinary. Let’s be willing to not take for granted the opportunities to feed growth, positivity and love. Everything else has a way of taking care of itself.