As I’ve mentioned in other posts, one of the lovely things about Zumba is connecting with people you otherwise would never meet.  Or maybe I shouldn’t say that you’d never meet them — perhaps in some providential way, they’d just find another route into your life.

One of those delightful people is Leigh Kay, a writer who blogs over at Daily Refined. I just love reading Leigh’s writing. She has such a soft, thoughtful spirit (very different from my own).  If our writing voices were caffeinated beverages, I would be a double espresso, Leigh would be a cup of fragrant jasmine tea.  I’ve meant to join Leigh in her 5 Minute Friday writing prompts, but things keep getting in the way.

Leigh’s post popped up in my RSS feed, so that was the reminder I needed to get crackin’ on this week’s writing prompt.  If you’d like directions on how to participate in 5 Minute Friday, go check out Leigh’s post.  If you’re going to write, make sure you do it before reading anyone else’s response so that you’re not influenced by others’ thoughts.  I did mine without reading Leigh’s and I love how we both ended up in the same place at the end.

Todays prompt is Backwards.

The beauty of looking back is to see how far you’ve come. In this driven culture of ambition and acquisition, we press onward and upward, grasping towards that next goal, visualizing a more perfect future.  This pressure for constant growth is exhausting. Daunting. Discouraging. Do we never get a rest from the struggle? Is life endless toil and achievment? After a 10 mile hike, who can eagerly face climbing a mountain?

When you’re staring down that mountain, perhaps it is refreshing to lean against a rock in the shade.  Gulp some water.  Fish a granola bar out of your pack.  In the shade, on your rock, look backwards at how far you’ve come.  You may have randomly chosen this trail.  Think about the people you’ve crossed along the way — how they came into your life precisely when you needed them.  Notice the time you came along side someone exactly when they needed you.  Observe the times your instinct allowed you to avoid dead-ends and dangers.

[My 5 minutes was up here, but I continued because I’m a cheater] Notice the times that tested your strength.  Recall the portions of the path where you discovered skill and ability where you thought you had none.  Congratulate yourself for how far you’ve traveled.  Thank your maker for putting you on this path and directing your steps.  Now, pick up your pack.  Focus on the mountain before you.  It’s time to move forward.

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9