Surrounded by Signs and Landmarks
By Donna Doyon
Take a right. Bear left. Turn left. Straight. Left. Right. Left into the parking lot. I drive to the grocery store without even thinking about it. There are many places I drive to each day or week without giving it a second thought. Sometimes I don't even give it a first thought!
But when someone asks me for directions, I have to stop and think. How do I get to the grocery store, my hair salon, or a Toastmasters meeting? What signs and landmarks should someone be looking for if they want to travel to those destinations? When someone asks me for directions I realize how many signs and landmarks are available to guide me.
Last summer I was meeting a friend at a nearby bank. Although she was familiar with the road it was on, she didn't remember seeing this particular bank branch before. So I told her it was located between the Friendly's and Wendy's restaurants. She didn't know where either of these were! I was shocked. I couldn't think of any other landmarks so I told her to look for the restaurants and she"d find the bank, or find the bank and she"d also find the restaurants.
This example reminds me that not everyone sees the same things as they travel down life's roadways. Some people see the restaurants, others the car dealerships, and still others the public buildings. But just because we don't see something, doesn't mean it isn't there.
Over the past year I have been contemplating the direction I want my life to travel. While my husband and children will forever be a top priority, I feel a restlessness to do something more'something that fulfills a higher calling from my Creator. But I worry that a new direction might upset the balance of my family and my life. I worry that I may be making a mistake. I worry that I may go in the wrong direction.
Yet, all my worry does is remind me that I am suffering from an extreme breakdown in faith. After all, if I am searching for the path my Creator has mapped out for me, why should I worry that He"d lead me away from the things He indicates are important? If He is leading me, why should I worry that I am lost when surely He placed signs and landmarks along the path to show me the way?
It is only when I quiet my thoughts and open my heart and mind that I notice the signs and landmarks that appear before me: offhand comments, invitations, new friends. As I begin to look at the world around me, this same world I've been living in for so many years, I suddenly see things I'd never noticed in the past: opportunities, relationships, achievements.
But just like that bank, these opportunities haven't gone out of business or moved to a new location. The signs are there, the doors are open and I must decide if I am ready to become a customer. The choice is always mine.
If, like me, you are looking for signs to indicate the direction your life should take, if you are feeling a bit unsettled or too settled into your daily routine, or you want to try something new, exciting, or fulfilling I encourage you to start paying attention to the signs and landmarks you encounter everyday as you travel through life. These signs can tell you where you are, where you are headed, and if you look back, they can even tell you where you've been. Then you can decide whether you need to change lanes and head in a new direction or turn into an unfamiliar parking lot.
If, like me, you aren't quite sure what direction you should go in take time to ask for directions. For me, prayerful reflection helps me keep the fears, worry, and lack of faith to a minimum. If you don't know how to get started or what the next step is, ask for directions or look for signs and landmarks.
Signs and landmarks will tell you when you need to change directions or take an exit, when you are nearing your destination, and can even indicate if you are going in the wrong direction. But you need to keep your eyes open and your mind focused. You need to pay attention to the signs and landmarks along your journey.
About The Author
Donna Doyon helps entrepreneurial-wannabes and starting-to-bes say "goodbye to self-defeating attitudes and behaviors and "Hello! to greater success, healthier relationships, and more balanced living.