A recent policeman client told me every day he wakes up anticipating “what next.” He told me how often people harass him, tell him they hate him. Here he is, a young kid who at one time in life dreamed of being a policeman. He gets up every day, or stays out every night, so that we can have rest and peace. What has happened to our world?
Even events that are unplanned, such as the recent tragedy of the lost life on an airplane due to a blown engine, can remind us that we are not in control.
I don't bring these situations to light to point out the bad in life. I do so to remind you to embrace the good.
Just this morning, I will be picking up a stranger to introduce him to Lake Tuscaloosa, so that he might find the perfect spot for family memories while his grown kids attend the University. I must trust that he is who he says he is (a background check isn't a bad thing either).
Just yesterday, while riding through a neighborhood on the lake to scope out property, I saw a kid, no older than 10, walking alone from the bus stop. He stopped when I slowly went by, giving me a cautious glance, then went back to being a kid. I watched in the rearview mirror as he slapped the roadside and watched pods of flowers and grass filter up into the afternoon sunlight. His risk? Being alone on a back road. My reward? Watching his focus on the mundane and remembering the miles I put on tires at his age, climbing gravel hills to put a penny down before the train in the distance, and wading with friends beneath highways in culverts to see what was on the other side.
Those were adventures taken without cell phones… and probably without our parents having any idea where we were or when we might come home.
There is risk every time we leave our homes. There is risk within our homes. We have to embrace the potential rewards and not be afraid of life.
We are not guaranteed anything, not even tomorrow. But for now, the night of peaceful sleep I got after writing this, and getting it out of my brain, is a great thing to savor.
I think about a lady sleeping tonight under a bridge. Read about her on my most recent blog post, "Something About Mary," at allisonpadams.com.
Sometimes, the reward is just being able to be right where you are.
Have a blessed and adventurous summer.