Reflecting on Pursuit….

The weather has been oppressive, with soaring temperatures and sky high humidity. Walking the dog is a chore, so forget about any sort of yard work. We badly need to clean up after the storms, but that will have to wait for a milder day. So I was drawn to this amazing photo by my friend Jeffrey, of an insect on the back of an American Kestrel. I love the intricate patterns and beautiful colors of the bird’s feathers, contrasted against the bright green of the insect. This Kestrel is no bigger than a Mourning Dove, yet to the bug I’m sure he looks enormous. This insect has perservered, and is almost to the top of the bird’s head. Persistence is a quality I did not appreciate as a young woman. I think back to my time in the military, days of drilling in the Texas heat, exercises in the Nevada desert. We would do the same thing again and again, until the pattern was indelibly imprinted in our subconscious. We could replicate our work drunk, asleep or terrified out of our minds. I hated the process, but came to love the result. I learned that working hard and mastering a skill was worth the pain it took to acquire it. Have we lost this quest for accomplishment? It seems we have become an instant society, wanting more and more, and wanting it right now, thank you very much. The idea of working toward a long term goal is lost in the quest for instant gratification. We want happiness without the pursuit, victory without struggle, joy without pain. Happiness has been reduced to simple satisfaction. We no longer willing to seek long term accomplishments, learned from our mistakes and missteps over time. The joy of cooking, music, or exercise rides on the crest of short term disappointments and unwelcome discoveries. Take time today to consider a skill you desire more than you crave your current comforts. Begin to work toward a long term goal, to further your profession or a personal interest. Consider a past time that brings you joy, even while striving to improve. Reach beyond your usual boundaries, praying for the Holy Spirit to work through you in a new way, to breathe creativity into your life. And remember, when you become discouraged or frustrated, even the tiniest insect can climb the largest mountain one step at a time. Text by Connie Chintall ©2012, Photo entitled ‘Hiking the Kestrel Mountain’ by Jeffrey Foltice ©2012, used with his permission. To see more of his work, go to http://photonatureblog.com/

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