I have the pleasure of being able to drop our two kids off for school most mornings. They’re in 1st and 2nd grades and I know it’s a fleeting time we’re in. I’m still able to give them hugs and kisses and send them on their way with a, “God bless you guys, have a great day!” But as I do, I cringe at the thought of them ever being teased by kids that think it’s too lovey dovey. Or the day they’ll prefer not to receive my hugs and kisses in public.
As I hopped back in the car this morning a wave of emotions hit me. You see, I don’t think many realize the depth of strength that comes from true love. I so badly want to tell my kids that it doesn’t matter what others think/say, that they don’t understand that I’m a type of bad mother… they’ve just not encountered before. It’s such a oxymoron to others that someone would be so full of love but also full of strength that could fight to the death. But deep down I think that’s what we’re all made of.
I’ve been caught in thunderstorms in a canyon between two peaks w/ lightning striking so close it rumbles and vibrates. No tent, no shelter. I’ve led a trip to the top of Pikes Peak as the first snowstorm of the year reared its head. The trail was covered and lost so we had to descend back to camp through, blinding snow, falling temps, and 40 mph winds. Once, my best friend and I took off for a short trail run in the mountains only to become lost as darkness fell. Our 60 min. run turned into 4 hours of wander and wonder. We even had to take turns carrying my 50 lb. boxer who cashed out and wouldn’t keep going. Each of these stories has one thing in common, strength. I think I desire these experiences because I believe love and strength will take care of me. If I’m brave enough to experience things beyond my comfort zone, I believe I’ll be able to help others find strength in their own lives.
My wife has a habit of always imploring me to be careful when I leave for trips that she won’t accompany me on. I always say o.k. but I’m not sure she realizes that she, our kids, our loved ones are all the reasons that I find strength through adventure. I love to feel the icy wind in my face, the pouring rain on my head, or to hear the whirling wind through the forest trees. I love to know that my reality continues to change. What once seemed a stretch now seems normal. What once seemed unattainable now seems possible. That calm voice of reckless love for them is what speaks to me when I feel tired or scared or unsure. It leads me beyond my nerves and allows me to continue on, knowing that my love will get me through and back to them.
Many times we might not see the forest for the trees. We might think that the race we’re training for is the end all. But it’s not. The end all is the life that we lead. Lead. We lead with determination. We lead with endurance. We lead with reckless love, helping ourselves become better so that we can go the distance for others.
It’s not easy to acknowledge an elephant in the room. It’s not easy to have those hard discussions w/ your spouse, or family, or friend. It’s not easy to give 100% all the time. 100% to raise kids. 100% at work. 100% in marriage. 100% in life. Love is probably the one thing that can lead us to 100%. It reminds us of the important things. The things we need not miss.
My Dad once left his night shift at work to search for my older sister who had snuck out of the house and gone to a party. As she tried to hide, he not only found her but he literally kicked in the door to the room she was hiding in. The very next day my parents drove her to a drug treatment facility where her life was likely saved. He didn’t care what the kids at the party thought or said. He cared about his lost child.
When I was fresh out of college I moved to Colorado w/ no job and was barely getting by. My parents loaned me money with no worry as to their own needs. I asked my Mom if they needed the money they were giving to me. She lovingly told me not to worry about it.
I’ve seen the strength of love my entire life and man I want more of it. I hope you do too. To climb mountains that teach us that we’re capable of more. To rise early and remind ourselves that the upset stomach feeling isn’t sickness, it’s just early. To go even when it’s raining because we really aren’t made of sugar. To set goals that scare us so that we don’t become comfortable with our current reality. And to do all of this so that our love becomes so strong that we can search for and find our lost loved ones. So strong that we’ll fear not the tough conversations. So strong that we’ll do our work and then help them do theirs.
I hope your life is filled w/ reckless love and enough adventure to help that love continue to grow!