While eating breakfast today I had the pleasure of some company. It was not company one might usually expect, a person or a usual pet like a cat or dog. A spider, the very one in the photo, decided it wanted to be friends and would not take no for an answer. The spider first climbed the hairs of my leg all the way up to my shoulder and onto my arm. This surprised me so I unfortunately flicked the little climber a fair distance away onto the floor. Clearly the unexpected long jump and landing had not deterred them as a short time later I felt little legs scuttling up onto my shoulder. They had mustered up the courage and energy to climb all the way up the chair, inside my shirt, and again try to express their desire for friendship. I took off my t-shirt and encouraged the spider to spend some time on the table instead. For the next twenty minutes while I ate they climbed over and under the table and up and down the chair next to me. They must have wanted some company while they enjoyed the sunshine, and they must have thought I was a good sort.
Even more surprising, this was not the first time I had seemingly been followed by one of God’s creations during the past week. On Friday I was walking through Zealandia Eco-sanctuary where, to be fair, there are lots of birds to make friends with. When I was at the furthest point from the entry I would travel to that day I turned around to make my way back. A tui landed on a branch nearby and hung out with me there for a little while. I continued walking and every so often the tui flew along in the lowest parts of the treetops and landed a short distance away in the direction I was walking. When I had made it almost all the way back out of Zealandia the tui landed on a branch at shoulder height a few metres up the path in front of me. I stopped for a minute and spent time enjoying being in each other’s presence.
What these two interactions made plain to me is we can be so caught up chasing things we forget to breathe, be present, and immerse ourselves in our own life. I have said something similar in several other blog posts as it is something close to my heart. It speaks of how I get caught up thinking about what I don’t have, forgetting the things I am blessed with and the joy of that which waits for me in the future. It is never easy for me to forget about all the “what if” moments. Not one times have I managed to make any of the different endings a reality. And not through lack of trying, I often try to play them out to a different conclusion in my mind.
My sister shared a post with me today from Humans of BTC, words from Associate Professor Eleanor Wong:
“I’m not sure that’s the right message: “to follow your dreams.” Rather, I think the message should be: Be realistic. Understand that much of what’s going to be out there is a lot of hard work, sometimes a lot of drudgery et cetera. But to keep your heart open to moments when there will be happiness and to grab those moments. An not necessarily to expect them but to be open to them and be grateful for them when they come. So that your life becomes one of contentment and happiness. Not necessarily because it fits in every way with your ‘green field’ dream but because within the constraints of what life actually is, you can see the dream moment.”
It is important to take action and grab moments of happiness with an open heart when they come along. It is also important to remember that life is not just these moments one after another, after another. There is a lot of hard work in between, some hardship, and even failure along the way. If we live our lives constantly searching and expecting these moments of happiness we run the risk of missing them or continually searching for what we think we want or need. Letting yourself be chased doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and waiting, it means being a person you want to be around, a motivator and an action taker.
I am thankful every day because I have the freedom to write words such as these which I truly believe and am trying to live as best I can. I am thankful to God I am able to express my faith as a Christian safely in New Zealand. I am thankful for every one of you that takes the time to read these words. We are all in this life, on this earth, together, whether we meet one another during our lifetimes or not.
Life is out there, as Jocko Willink says, get up early and go get after it.
Keep getting after it.