This has been the week of decisions, crossroads and overanalyzing the heck out of everything. For real. This week I earned a blackbelt in obsessive thinking.
Most of the obsessing had to do with my career. I’ve been working on a book for two years, and this week I finally found a home for it. But I wasn’t sure. Was I going down the right path here? I spent most of Spring Break wrestling with hypothetical scenarios and racking my brain for the exact right answers.
Once the hamster wheel of hypotheticals starts in your mind, it’s hard to stop it. Analyzing from the comfort of your mind feels so safe, it’s smugly addictive. I started to believe I could strategize our family’s life into perfection. If we could save this much money, then we could do this. If our summer looked like this, then I could accomplish that. So many paths and plans created and killed within the space of my own small brain.
It’s no wonder that by Saturday morning, my mind was ragged. No wonder life didn’t feel any bigger than the size of my own small thoughts. All that analysis had become paralysis, and I was ready to numb my mind with Nutella by the spoonful and buzzfeed lists.
But Mike suggested a different day: let’s go hike Enchanted Rock. Let’s pack up the car with kids and water bottles and energy bars and climb to the summit of one of Texas’ most beautiful spectacles. Not only that, let’s bring our gangly Greyhound and ancient Cocker Spaniel and see if they can make it to the top.
After a week of hypothetical paths and crossroads, this sounded like the perfect plan. Instead of imagining what would happen if we went this direction, tried this path, and travelled this road, getting out and physically doing all that was exactly what we needed.
I didn’t realize how desperately I also needed perspective. But then, at the summit of Enchanted Rock, the rest of the world looked so small. All the problems and what-ifs looming in my mind shrunk. It was one of those moments where you realize how little you are actually controlling. I almost cried with relief.
While our family surveyed the world from the top, Mike prayed for us. He thanked God for our family, for our healthy bodies, and for the day together. After our week of staccato prayers, asking, asking, and asking, the thanksgiving prayer changed my perspective. My vision moved from the thisclose to the horizon. So many big blessings happening, and thank you, Lord, I had nothing to do with their success.
Now we’re entering a new week. And before I fall into the temptation of strategizing and analyzing, I’m thinking about this Saturday, when I was able to go out of my own mind. I’m thinking about that prayer of thanksgiving, about the view from the top of Enchanted Rock, and about the life God has planned for us out on the horizon.