This morning I was racing my children to finish sweeping the floor before they finished their breakfast. The kids won. My oldest was happy to have some morning TV time, but my youngest was hot on my trail – blanket in tow.
He followed me throughout the kitchen, pulling that worn blue blanket through my trash pile half a dozen times. I kept sweeping the same trash as he kept ‘helping’. And that small lesson in patience got me thinking…
How often in life do we keep cleaning up the same pile of crumbs? How many times do we start a fight over something we should’ve just let go? We keep rehashing past mistakes, going over what could have been. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that we can’t go back – just let it go. Instead of sweeping the trash into the bin, we leave it out for someone else to step in. My one-year-old knew that I was supposed to throw the trash away. He toddled behind me with a dust pan ready to help. But I, supposedly wiser, wanted to get it all in one pile first. Why do something more than once if you can tackle it as one bigger task? Why, because it’s easier and less likely that someone else will come behind you and mess up what you’ve already accomplished. He was right – I was wrong.
We don’t always have to have it all together before we make a move. Not all of our mistakes are going to fit in one nice, neat pile ready to be dealt with at once and thrown away. Life is messy and we have to live it right now, not wait until it all comes together. If we keep waiting for everything to fall into place, we’ll look back and realize that life was already happening while we chose to watch it go by. There isn’t a pause button for getting to where we want to go. We have to face life as it comes at us piece by piece.
It’s amazing what the world can teach us if we sit back and listen. From a one-year-old and his blanket to a wish to become more than what we are. The higher powers speak to us – we just have to learn to listen and follow their time line instead of our own.