We all have a hill to climb.
Early this evening, after another exhausting 12 hour day grappling with the bear market, I headed out for a run. Pelican Vay Blvd., normally a busy thoroughfare at this time of year, was deserted. So I ran on the road toward St. William’s. Not sure why I chose this direction. Maybe I just wanted the comfort of seeing the church, closed doors and all.
As I got to the turn, I spied a little 5 year old boy, waiting on his miniture bike, at the intersection. Alone. Odd. Then, way down the road, I could see Mom and Dad peddling along. Better.
Suddenly, I heard the boy cry out, “Hurry up! I can’t wait forever!”
I’m thinking, ” Hold your breath, son. Your parents are way too far to hear you.” Just then, to my right, I hear a squeaky little cry, “Hang on! I’m trying to get up this hill!”
There, ahead, I spy her. The little sister. About 30″ tall, walking her bike. But there is no hill. This is Naples. Flat as glass. I look more carefully, and realize, yes, she’s right, the ground does elevate about 3 feet as it approaches the intersection. An unnoticeable rise to the average pedestrian, even to the girl’s 5 year old brother, but to her– a mountain.
In the time of Corona, all of us have a hill to climb. A cross to bear. Sometimes, we are so bogged down in self pity over the size of our cross, the weight of it, we forget that the Lord gives each of us the cross we can bear. Tailor fit, if you will. But just so.
Maybe as missionaries we can do a better job of recognizing this, of showing a little more empathy for our neighbor or loved one that also has a cross to bear, a hill to climb. In our judgment, it might not be as big as ours. But to them, it might be a mountain.
Today, let’s focus a little more on the other guy. Maybe the spouse could use a hand with the dishes. Or maybe the person behind me in the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store really feels that last roll on the shelf would make his day to bring home. Leave it for him.
And the next time today you feel yourself sliding toward the self pity party, remember you are not alone. The Lord is with you on that bike. He’s walking next to you, pushing it up the hill.
April 1, 2020