New Year’s Resolutions are something I avoid like the plague. I don’t like to disappoint myself or others, so I just don’t do those. But I was ready to get back to my exercise routine after the joyous disruption of the holidays, so one of the first days in January, I hit my favorite track in a local park to put in a vigorous walk. Oh, sorry…..you thought I was going to be running a marathon? Nuh uh!
It was cool, in the upper 40’s, and I was dressed for it, so no problem there. And as I walked the track, I enjoyed the bright sun of morning. But as I rounded the back end of my circular journey, there was this one stretch of track that fell in a shaded place, and I shivered a little as I passed through the darker spot, which was noticeably colder than the rest of the route. My fourth time around, I approached the shady area, anticipating the chill I would feel, and then the warmth that followed as soon as I stepped back in the bright sunshine. That’s when the word picture came to mind. Sometimes we have to walk in the shadows to truly appreciate the warmth of the sunny places.
Life feels a lot like my ‘walk in the park’. And don’t go with the familiar translation of that idea to ‘piece of cake’ or ‘no big deal’. Instead, think of the of the easy places and the hard places that we pass through on the journey. The hard places are, at best, uncomfortable, a lot of work, and sometimes downright painful. Coming out of one of those times is like stepping into the warmth of a sunlit path. I am just not sure we would really appreciate those sunny places if it were not for the shadow places that we have to pass through.
One of my favorite movies, ‘Finding Dory”, gives us the encouraging thought, ‘Just keep swimming’. So why don’t we choose to ‘Just Keep Walking’ so that we make it to that next sunny place with a greater appreciation for the joy and peace it brings.
… Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5