I have been chewing. Not the watermelon-hubba-bubba-best-bubbles-in-the-whole-world kind of chewing. Deep think chewing. I call it chewing when profound thoughts float by like a feather dancing with the wind. A feather, not a bubble. Bubbles pop and leave you wanting more. A feather however, floats in the air then rests there where it lands, or you pluck it out of the sky and admire it. In all it's beauty it makes you ponder upon the bird it came from or how it came to be.
I have been chewing. Millions of tiny thoughts. At this moment I am trying to pin them down for you to create some artistic eloquence that will cause you to chew too.
I teach middle school. Every day, I drive "Little Red"(my chevy spark) to school. I only live two blocks away. I love driving Red, even if it is two blocks. Silly I know. (Silly is one of my best qualities). The other day I was walking into the school from the back door and realized I didn't have my keys. I had left them in my classroom. This meant that I would have to walk, all the way to the front of the building and then back down the hall to my room. “Oh well,” I thought, “I needed a walk anyway.” (This is my Pollyanna Perspective. I will write about that another day. You should go watch the movie if you haven't seen it. “Pollyanna” by Disney.)
Well, my school has sidewalks for days. Not just one sidewalk and you can only take that path, but sidewalks that can take you to the front of the building on several differing routes depending on which path you choose. I always walk on the sidewalk. I always take the same route, keeping to the sidewalk, being sure not to walk on the grass. I wouldn’t want to wear a path in the perfectly manicured laws. (Lawns for days!)
Most days, I would say I am a rule follower. Don’t get me wrong, there is an inner rebel living and breathing in me that has on many occasions pushed an envelope too far with dark results to follow. I guess that is why I follow rules loyally now. I know what lies ahead if I don’t. Consequences and tears, that I have no say in, come into my life. The outcome ultimately resulting in excruciating sorrow, loss, apologies, repentance and the plaguing of past pain long into the future. Ya, I think I will pass.
However, on this day, I was late getting back to my room from my break. As I took my first step out on to the grass, I thought to myself, “Sometimes, you have to walk on the grass.”
There it is. The thought that started my chewing and has continued for, going on a week and a half. I am an absolute Christian. Through and through. No doubt about it. This thought can carry gospel undertones and discussion, comparisons etc. It can also resound within our inner most wonderings.
For me, on this day in November, “Gratitude” month, I need to say this: “Sometimes, walking on the grass is okay.” It doesn’t make me evil. It won’t ruin the lovely lawn. It won’t even get me in trouble with the principal. It may however, get me to my room on time, with wet shoes mind you, but on time, still the same. On time to teach, smile, love and play with a class full of students who needed me. (The load of the young people today is absolutely staggering. They do need us. They need us to show up. Truly.)
There are seasons in our lives, where we have to take a different road than we are used to. It may even be one that not everyone agrees you should take. No one can foresee where that path will lead. How you will grow spiritually because you chose that way. No one can predict how it will shape who you are to become. How it will make you better than you once were. Not a soul could tell you how the heartbreak of that path will make you stronger and more empathetic towards others. In my life, this is the case. Today, I am grateful for the times I chose to make my own trail. Each step I have taken has led me to this day. This girl. Each hill, fork or compass check has created the woman who loves, lives and creates, with every single breath, in the fullest way possible.
Friends, please walk on the grass. Of course, not all the time. But, when you need a fresh perspective or a new view. When you feel strongly that it is the direction meant for you, because it speaks to you. Take that road less traveled by. Robert Frost was right you know. It will make all the difference.