I went for a jog yesterday afternoon and was surprised by how sometimes doing some of the most simple things in life can teach you profound truth if youâ€™re paying attention. Weâ€™ve moved into a big secure complex in Gordonâ€™s Bay with houses and apartment buildings that sit on a beautiful harbour.Â There are lots of boats and geese and palm trees and the views of the nearby Hottentots Holland mountains are spectacular when the sun sets. Thereâ€™s a boardwalk and brick path around part of the harbour that makes a great walking or jogging circuit.
On this particular afternoon I went out for a quick jog â€“ I normally do this in the morning but the Bear woke me up during the night the night before and I was too tired at 6:00 am to get out of bed for a jog! The weather was a bit windy, but still nice and mild. There arenâ€™t so many people here at this time of year, because so many people who own property in the complex just use it for a month or two out of the year. So besides a very occasional â€œHelloâ€ or â€œenjoyâ€ here and there, it was mostly me, my shoes and my thoughts.
And one of those funny moments showed up â€“ totally out of the blue â€“ where you just start thinking, â€œMan life is good. This is so lovely. Iâ€™m in such a beautiful place. I am glad to be alive. God is good.â€ I kind of marvelled at â€˜the momentâ€™ showing up and just smiled thinking â€“ wisdom has taught me â€“ these moments never last long!
Then I turned a corner to continue the jog out onto the jetty wall which encloses the outermost section of the harbour and what should meet me but BLINDING GALE FORCE WINDS HOWLING PAST MY EARS AND ATTEMPTING TO STOP ME DEAD IN MY TRACKSâ€¦ or blow me into the water. And as life often does, so I was presented with the choice, out onto the jetty as intended, or turn around and enjoy the wind on my back for a while. Itâ€™s an Irish proverb after all.
I instantly thought about the moment before. When everything seems to be cheesecake and chocolate soup, you will often come across a bump in the road or a fork in the path. There you meet the opportunity to take the path of least resistance, and it is especially tempting when you are afforded opportunities that will require you to work harder than you want to.
This challenge immediately translates to many areas of life â€“ choosing to tell the truth regardless of the consequences, choosing to act according to what you know is right, instead of what everyone expects of you, or what will be easiest. It may mean fighting for a marriage that seems like a losing battle, or standing up to your boss when you know heâ€™s doing something that isnâ€™t right. Earlier in the day, for me it meant dealing with areas where I was holding offences against others, and asking them to forgive me. Especially if you want to live for what is right — you are consistently going to meet obstacles.
These opportunities are defining moments in our lives. The moments when we choose the path of most resistance, because itâ€™s the right path, are the moments when our true character is revealed â€“ the moments when itâ€™s clear what weâ€™re really made of.
I pressed out onto the jetty, all the way to the end, where I could give the fisherman a good afternoon and a wave, then turned around and started heading back. Although my character may not have vastly improved by that simple decision, choosing the path of most resistance will make me a little stronger for the next run, and perhaps even able to stand when the real gale force winds blow through our little housing complex, here in Gordonâ€™s Bay. So my encouragement for you? Choose the path of most resistance today. And let me know what happens.