or What I Did On My Summer Vacation
We can chose
to live out our lives as passive puppets of fate or as active partners
in our destiny. Destiny will lead you to the turning points in your
life, but then it’s up to you to take hold of those moments
and do something with them.
helps man to understand God’s will and to put himself in balance
with Divine and universal forces, thus enriching his life and experience.”
Rabbi Joel C Dobin, DD
is fate." Heraclitus
Three long (very long) years had passed since taking what I'd call
a “don’t-think-about-work,” out-of-town vacation.
Sure, I’d been on a few business/pleasure trips. However, whenever
work and/or business is involved, it’s just never quite the
same. So I was in severe need of a real, total, and complete break
from the activities of everyday life. As such... I was bound and determined
to spend the majority of my vacation mindlessly vegetating.
packing my bags, I made a mental deal with myself. In this deal...
part of taking a real, total, and complete break meant leaving behind
any and/or all of my normal “pleasure reading."
At this juncture,
it's probably important to know that I have an extremely distorted,
skewed, and slightly disturbing idea of what “pleasure reading”
consists of. It has little or nothing to do with what the average
normal person on our planet considers to be "pleasure reading."
It generally consists of Jungian psychoanalytic books, dry academic
reading about some facet of the European Renaissance, technically
oriented astrology books, and/or books written by an ancient philosopher
(or books written about an ancient philosopher).
When on a
typical reading binge, generous assortments of these dry-as-dust books
are piled up beside my bed and crying out for a little TLC. Enough
said about that...
In retrospect, my attitude on the matter should have put me on notice
that I was about to learn something significant. It didn't. However,
I would soon discover that the universe had an altogether different
agenda in mind.
appear that life is full of little "refresher" courses about
the "simple" things.
The farther I travel down this road of life, the better I understand
that there are certain "simple" things that you "think"
you know - that you don't "know." The problem is that we sometimes
have to empty ourselves and get quiet enough to hear the simple messages
and wisdom spoken by that still, small voice inside.
shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
T.S. Eliot "Four Quartets" 1943
Leaving On a Jet Plane
The first leg of my escape into vegetative oblivion consisted of a
Saturday two hour passenger jet ride from Nashville, TN to Austin,
TX. During the flight I pulled out the one book I'd brought along.
Hey! I'm not perfect. Besides, it was [technically speaking] light
reading in that it was a novel. Granted the book was a historical
novel about the French Renaissance...
sue me! My choice of novels still wasn’t exactly "getting
with the program," but reading a novel (any novel) seemed to
be a small step in the right direction. Before long, I came across
an interesting passage. In this passage, one of the main characters
said something to the effect that:
will lead you to the turning points in your life, but then it’s
up to you to take those moments and do something with them."
it’s not that I’d never heard this "simple"
message before. I have, and you have. However, for some strange reason
it literally leapt out at me from the pages of that book, and yelled:
Time Is Charm
After switching planes in Austin, TX... and playing it safe, I began
thumbing through the innocuous pages of an airline magazine. Suddenly
and unexpectedly, there the message was again. This time the message
was served up in one of those typical "bread and butter"
It was there and staring me in the face. "Destiny will lead you
to the turning points in your life, but then it’s up to you to
take those moments and do something with them." I made a mental
note of it, thinking this to be a wee bit odd.
We all know
that "third time is charm." So to ensure that I was paying
attention... later that night, the message was repeated for a third
time. Relaxing on a couch, winding down from my long day of exhausting
travel, I was innocently watching a rather lighthearted "made
for TV" movie on the boob tube.
there it was again. "Destiny will lead you to the turning points
in your life, but then it’s up to you to take those moments
and do something with them." I would discover, over the course
of my vacation, that this simple enough pesky message was not going
to leave me alone.
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