Take Time to Think!
Slow down, and think carefully before you plow forward on your course. This past Saturday, my husband, Ken, and I went hiking on a 6.9 mile trail loop in the FDR State Park. For the first 3 miles, we hiked merrily and marveled at how well the path was marked, with a slash of blue paint on a tree at regular intervals.
Then we came to a crossroad, and the sign there showed our trail going back the way we came, but not forward. Since it was a loop, we were perplexed. I told Ken, "Well, I can still see the blue paint on some trees up ahead, so that must be the way."
So we hiked on until we came to another sign. To our dismay, our trail wasn't even listed on this sign. Yikes! We were out there by ourselves. We didn't want to wander around. Plus, we were already going 7 miles. Hiking longer would be exhausting.
We decided to go back to the place where we got confused. So we backtracked, and before long, were staring again at the original sign. Once again, I made a quick recommendation. I said we should keep back tracking, and see if we could pick up where we might have got off track.
But Ken said, "Wait a minute, and let me look at this sign, and think for a bit." So I stood there, impatiently while he carefully considered the sign.
Then he pointed out something that I'd missed. There was a listing for our trail loop on the second sign that was below the first. This listing had an arrow pointing a different way.
How had I not seen that? I'd looked twice. But I hadn't slowed down and taken my time. This is a real fault of mine. I act too quickly. I make assumptions, like I did with the blue paint.
In life, when we reach a crossroads, let's remember to take our time before moving forwards. Let's take a deep breath, and consider what we're doing, and where it will lead us. Let's notice the assumptions we're making, and realize that they could be incorrect. Let's remember what's most important to us, so we can include that in our course directing.
By the grace of God, and wisdom of my husband, we didn't end up wandering around around in the woods for hours. (Of course, we could have just gone back the way we came, which we did consider doing.) I told Ken that his years of looking for the detail that made the computer program mess up served him well in this instance.
But I did come away with a greater resolution to pay closer attention to what I'm doing, and give it greater thought. I'm trying to put that into practice. I still plow ahead without thought sometimes, but I think I'm getting better.
(The sign in the picture was taken later in the hike. The original sign had more trails listed. Lol that's my excuse.)