by Kari Diane Pike
Each and every day, I wonder why it seems to take me so long to "get it." By "it," I mean understanding -- understanding of my spouse, understanding of my children, understanding of what makes people do the things they do, and understanding simple gospel principles. I know my teenagers often question whether or not I will ever "get it."
Last week, my daughter Kati talked me into participating in a 10K with her. (I should have known that anything other than 14K was going to leave me feeling tarnished.) Yesterday morning, I fought with my phone so it would play conference talks while I made my morning training run (okay...walk). Every thirty seconds or so, I would lose the signal and the session would be dropped. I found myself spending more time on fussing with the phone than accomplishing my fitness goal. After several minutes of frustration, the thought came to me that perhaps I should spend my training time listening to the Spirit and paying attention to what was going on around me. I started to pray as I jogged along and tried to focus on what the Lord might want me to hear and see. It didn't take me long to notice how easily the sights, sounds, and smells of the world distracted me from my intent: the pounding of feet on the pavement by sweaty runners, the whirring of bicycle gears, dogs barking, children laughing on a nearby playground, leaf blowers, dust, the stench of stagnant puddles, the snarl of traffic, the echo of tires bouncing over the expansion joints of the overpass and the unrelenting heat of the desert sun. Every time I caught my mind wandering, I wondered how Heavenly Father manages to be so patient and always be there when I finally tune in again. He never gives up on me! (And I think perhaps He wanted me to pay more attention to the world in which I live.)
This morning I approached my "long practice run" with hope and enthusiasm. Surely, today I would "get it" and shave several minutes off my time. It didn't take long for my hopes to be dashed. I slowed my pace and pondered on my feelings of discouragement about not being "fast enough." I kicked at the pebbles on the trail and watched the dust poof as my feet pounded the ground. I thought about the sometimes dusty, sometimes frozen, rocky trails the pioneers had to walk along. Hello! They walked! Step by determined step, they made their way across the open plains and over the mountains to reach their destination. Life isn't a race. It's a journey, and every little step I take helps me get closer to my goal. Little things, over the course of time, become big things -- for good or for bad -- and every effort I make -- even if it means I have to crawl -- counts. All I have to do is look forward, and with a steadfast faith in Christ, take that first step, and He will direct my path.
As far as my writing goals go...I just looked back at the number of blog posts I have written over the past several years. And you know what? I could have written a book! I still can -- and will -- one word, one chapter, one piece of chocolate at a time! Just watch me!