This morning I woke to a beautiful day and the certain reality that this blog post needed to be written. Outside my window the mountains beckoned and I could hear the fish from a nearby pond begging me to bring worms.
There were dozens of things I wanted to do and one thing I was obligated to do. I love the opportunity this post gives me to keep in touch with my fans and friends but today, I didn’t feel like doing it.
Several years ago I was plodding up a mountain ridge as a lightning storm approached. It was too late to turn back and if we did not make it to the ridge before the storm, I knew we might become crispy critters, smoldering heaps of ashes on the side of the mountain.
Even when my life was in the balance, my rubbery legs rebelled. I didn’t want to continue climbing.
Almost a half a century ago I stood face to face with Diane and promised in the company of my family and several hundred friends, that I would cherish her as my wife in sickness and health and through wealth or poverty, until death do us part.
Over the years there have been times when I did not feel like keeping that vow. What does one do when one knows something needs to be done but one doesn’t feel like doing it?
After a good breakfast and a 15 mile bike ride, I sat down at my desk and forced myself to begin typing this blog post. A few paragraphs later, I was engrossed in the project.
I know that every day millions of people do honorable deeds and complete menial (but important) tasks that they don’t feel like doing. They do it because they know it’s the right thing to do. Only a few sentences into this post I felt the inspiration that had been missing only minutes before.
As lightning hunted us on the mountain side years ago, I remember saying to my friend who was climbing with me. “I can’t do this. My strength is gone. I can’t make it to the top.” My friend who was relentlessly wise said, “You don’t have to make it to the top, Ken. Just take the next step.”
We beat the storm to the top by taking one step at at time when we didn’t feel like it.
As I write this post my wife of 47 years is sitting across the room reading. There were times in our marriage each of us faced moments when we didn’t feel like honoring our vows.
I know for certain there were times when Diane could have justifiably set my luggage on the porch and sent me packing. But we made a commitment. Today, as we enjoy this season in our marriage and bask in the love of two children and six grandchildren, we are thankful that we kept that commitment, even when we didn’t feel like it.
Tomorrow I have to leave this beautiful place, drive almost three hours, board a cramped airplane and fly to my next speaking engagement. I don’t feel like leaving. But, like you I must weigh my actions based on a set of values far greater than, “do I feel like it?”
Is it the right thing to do!
Is it part of my duty?
Is it something that will benefit others?
Is is part of a commitment I have made?
Is is what God wants me to do?
Is it something that will bring joy?
Is it something that will bring life?
There are very few things I feel like doing. Playing sports, sleeping, lounging around, eating, laughing, flying airplanes are a few that top the list. Yet it is often the things I don’t feel like doing that end up bringing the greatest joy and benefit to myself and others.
So what do you do when you don’t feel like doing it? Ask the questions above. If the answer is yes to any of them, start typing, take another step, before you know it the storm has passed and the blog post is done.
What do YOU do when you don’t feel like doing it? [reminder]