Monday, April 25, 2005

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

You may have heard the expression, "He/She already has one foot in the grave..." Depending on the context of the conversation, it may mean one of two things: (1) a person who is physically on "their last leg" (the one not in the grave) in this Life or (2) a person who has a pessimistic outlook on Life and has already given up, in terms of attitude. Today I address the latter journey...

There is another common quote (like the one above) that states, "A rut is caused by spinning one's wheels too long in one spot." To some in Life, a periodic or extended "rut" (a painful or uncomfortable situation that doesn't seem to have an ending or no light at the end of the tunnel) may seem like a personal grave; a little bit of the person is dying by staying right where they're at... the rut gets deeper and deeper... and sometimes too deep to step out of... the depth of one's rut becomes one's grave...

Barring a traumatic childhood experience, we all have some wonderful and simple memories of childhood. What specific memories are there for you? Chalk and crayons and laughter and cartoons. Popsicles on hot summer days and cocoa on cold winter nights. Popcorn in your special bowl and ice cream with bananas and syrup on it. The smell of clay and Play Doh and the smell of your favorite meal cooked by your parents. Grassy hills to roll down and tall trees to climb and hang from. The grand beauty of these memories is the powerfulness in their simplicity.

It is this simplicity that reminds us of our basic human nature to truly and fully enjoy this Life while living a noble journey. As a born-again parent (this second time around with triplets), I am reminded of what I already forgot about this simplicity. This second time around, however, I chose not to work while parenting. I began to realize - with these three little humans teaching me each day - how many ruts I created for myself; self-created, self-induced and self-martyred. And it's these ruts that cause confusing and confounding complexity on our lives that are meant for simplicity.

On a recent television show, one character was attempting to remind another of the importance of living and stated, "Well, since you are breathing and since you're not in the grave quite yet, don't you think it's time you started living?" Simplicity. If we're not dying, we need to be living. My prescription for this simplistic living? Pray and play. Pray with the mind of a child; full of trust and faith and hope and love of a child. And play with the heart of a child; full of energy and wonder and excitement and love of a child. The ruts will come and go and it's this simple prescription that may very well keep the depth to a minimum and pull us out.

As for the grave, it will eventually come for each of us. In fact, the midnight hour of any of our lives may quickly come for any of us and the daily tasks that didn't get done will not matter at all. The ruts we've created for ourselves will have no importance. So, since you and I are still breathing and since we're not in the grave quite yet, we need to keep living... living to pray, living to play...

hoedl's haven
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