Sunday, February 27, 2011
The Trails We Blaze
North of where I live is the Oregon Trail.
Two summers ago, in route to a Yellowstone camping trip with my family, we took a side turn off the beaten path to see the Oregon Trail ruts.
Could they really still be there after over one hundred fifty years of blizzards, thunderstorms and other rugged weather? They were.
Our family being a big fan of everything pioneer and reading the "Little House On the Prairie" series to our kids, I felt a moment of reverence amidst these wheel-marked paths. I felt choked with hot, welling tears.
How does a family endure what they did?
One thing was evident when gazing at such a scene: alot of covered wagons passed through these rolling and at times very rocky, terrian. Again and again they came. Some whistling as they worked their teams. Others crying over the family and life they left behind for who knows what were to greet them ahead.
As we drove away, the children were happy and content to see some actual pioneer artifacts. I sat in the passenger seat, watching the sea of open sky & prairie and really pondered those tracks. Again and again they came. Tracks being carved into the rugged prairie. From the prairie transitioned my thoughts to my own life.
What tracks am I carving into my life?
What makes them?
That's it! What do I return time and time again to? One thing is for sure, tracks are made by the constant returning of wheels ginding and pressing down. Habits are of the same nature.
What has made me ponder these thoughts as of recent, is the time of year. New Year's resolutions have been earnestly made, begun and sadly, many abandoned.
What now remains, those resolutions, have a good chance to be on their way to becoming habits.
I reflect back to my own life, I look at the habits that I have absorbed into who I am. Ways of thinking, how I interact with others, how I manage my home and the daily rhythm with my children, the way I speak and respond to my husband, how I take care of my body, what I do to grow deeper in my faith.
This I know:
I am what I do daily.
I first form my habits; then my habits form me.
Every day I live, I am in the process of becoming. Whether I am becoming better or worse depends on what I give myself to.
I do what I have committed to, even when I don't feel like it.
My habits are my future. They will determine who I will be ten or thirty years from now.
Like the Oregon Trail ruts, my habits now will effect those generations ahead of me.
Maybe one hundred and fifty years from now.