Skip To the Prize!
It’s amazing how often rewards seem to come at the end of a series of tasks that I wish I could skip. These are steps that my mind places on a scale that ranges from boringly tedious to completely unacceptably repulsively intolerable. Registering that level of awfulness is often as far as I get.
Here is the remarkable thing: I’m talking about R-E-W-A-R-D-S!!!! How do I get from joy/pleasure/treasure to complaining that the process is somewhere between boring and psychically lethal? More importantly, why do I land on the Awful square and just sit there?
That last question is a little bit of a trick. If I figure out the answer to the “why” of it, I’m still stuck on the Awful square. Here is a better question: how can I remember that these steps and tasks are the route to THE PRIZE? How can I not lose sight of the goal?
Imagine that, on the top of a very steep mountain, there is a fountain of Love, Prosperity, Youth, Peace, and Joy. Drink from it and you’ll live forever in well-funded bliss. It’s the answer to all prayers.
The trek is steep and tiring and long. Halfway up, you’re so focused on how tired your legs are, your mind says “This is Awful! I can’t take one more step! What’s the point? I’m going home.” In that moment of tiredness and complaint, my mind sometimes forgets to say, “Love, Prosperity, Youth, Peace, and Joy are up ahead! You’re halfway there! Keep going!”
Sometimes I lack the skill of looking beyond the temporary discomfort of the climb. Looking back in time, I can see many journeys that were never completed. I can hardly remember why I began them in the first place. I also see the experiences of crossing the goal line, The blessings of my current life are the rewards of those completions, often inspired by the pain of old incompletions.
Some of the times when I’ve reached the goals, I’ve used a chant I learned long ago:
“How long? Not that long.
Come so far—Not that far to go.
How long? Not that long.”
The wisdom of that chant is that it doesn’t let the questions go unanswered. I can say with certainty that in every incomplete journey, I left those questions unanswered. Without answers the questions are simply complaints and discouragements.
My goal now is to have a high rate of completed journeys. In addition to the chant, I have a prayer that reminds me that completion is possible:
“River of Peace, travel with me as I take one more step, then another. Please remind me that the goal is worth the journey.”
You can find more prayers in my newest book, Your Life Is Your Prayer. I co-wrote it with BJ GALLAGHER and that journey was a blessing from beginning to end!