Around the Next Bend

This past Friday, my daughter Hannah and I joined a couple of our friends and had an adventure. We kayaked a 6-mile section of the Chattahoochee River, just north of Atlanta. The day was a blast, to say the least.

On our trip there were several lazy stretches where we found ourselves paddling and wondering what lay around the next bend in the river.

At one point Hannah commented, “Dad, this river is a lot like my life these days. I find myself longing to see what is around the next bend. If I’m not careful I can easily miss the current section. I need to pay more attention and live in the moment.”

Can you relate?

As leaders it is easy to see the summit and neglect the path. I’m not saying stop. The river had a current just like your life does. You must “go with the flow,” so to speak.

One of my favorite bloggers, Jeff Goins, made reference to the need to stay the course in a recent post by referring to a conversation between Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings… 

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were.

And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. 

But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo . . . and it’s worth fighting for.

― J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers

There is a destiny and you should keep moving toward it and fighting for it, but the path, this stretch of river, is all you have.

Next week this section will have passed. Kids will be off to college, moments will have taken place, meals eaten with friends and family, stories written, and words spoken.

Like all the past stretches, this one will vanish in a blink. And just like all the ‘folk’ in the stories of old, I would not turn back the clock, even if I could.

I will keep going, because I am holding onto something — the hope that I can live every day in the moment until this shadow of a life passes and I reach the final bend. There, everything will be clear and the sun will shine.

In the mean time, like Sam, the stories will stay with me.

i2i,

Randy

How often do you think about “next week” and find yourself missing “today?”

Comments?


Leave a comment



Chris Patton

8 years ago

Thanks Randy! I needed this today…and yesterday…and the day before that…
Keep up the good work!

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks Chris!

Robbie

8 years ago

Great post RG! Very timely considering Siler and I just finished watching the trilogy last night. There is so much to glean from each member of Tolkien’s Fellowship throughout their journey. Thanks for sharing.

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks for the comment Robbie. Enjoy that boy while you can!

Luke Ayers

8 years ago

This is clear. Just last night I was praying about using a clip from lord of the rings. Leaders must go on. We must have a life worth fighting for and dying for or we will not have a life at all.
Luke Ayers

randygravitt

8 years ago

Sounds like it was timely Luke. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

David Parfitt

8 years ago

Randy well said, and well written. Thank You

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks DP!

Ja

8 years ago

It seems I too often will look ahead to what will come and forget to live in the here and now. It is hard to stay the course at times. Isn’t it wonderful to know we have help at the helm. All we have to do is just ask…
Thanks Randy,
Ja

randygravitt

8 years ago

So true Jason. Thanks!

Coach Brown

8 years ago

“How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.” Encouraging words that offers hope for a brighter future! Thanks Randy…

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks Coach!

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