It was a good time.
It was a good time.
The time to hear the call had come. The time to heed that call was real, as well. It was a good time. The call was to go to a place that was unknown. It would be an adventure, but that would mean unknown things would lurk in the shadows. But it was time.
There is a time and then there is a place to go to. It is a destination, with a purpose. The trouble is that you are not certain about the full understanding of that. There is a Buddhist story about the river that you put your foot into that by the act of taking that step, the river is changed from the river that had not had your foot in it. It is this same thing, that by acting on the call the call takes on a new form, because you are now a part of that adventure. It is still a good time to listen to that call.
The trip to adventure is an adventure as well. You may have heard the tale of life is a journey. It is this idea that your daily interactions with random people, at the gas station perhaps, simply the question of holding the door, or smiling at the clerk, are all steps on that journey. The return of a smile or someone else holding the door for you, are as well parts of that adventure. To be “present” as a hero in your own story, rather than a bit player in someone else’s story. This is a choice that changes the story.
When the beginning had begun, the adventure engaged, there is a part of the mystery that is in part wrought with danger. The notion that “safe is better” is flawed. What you are needing to see is that “there is more to you than you realize” but you won’t know that until you try. It is a good time to try.
The call to adventure is to test you. It is to embody the idea of this saying; “Never ascribe righteousness to a lack of opportunity”. Simply meaning, that you think that you would be good and virtuous, but you have never been tested. You cannot know unless you have been in a situation that is real. To say you would never steal a million dollars is easy, unless you have had the chance to do so and potentially get away with it. So, when you deceive yourself like this you suppose that you are the better person than the one on the news that got caught, but you simply have been “safe” from that temptation. It is a good time to test yourself. Not by finding a virtue you hold dear but by stepping into that which is uncomfortable. To be near, in a prolonged way, those you are not normally with. Perhaps it is the homeless, or the ones in jail. But perhaps it is a different small group, like AA, or Sex-Aholics. Perhaps it is a group in church that believe they are “helping God” by being good. This deck of cards has many types of combinations, but the hand you are dealt is your own. The obligation to care for the loved one that has a debilitating illness that will not result in death anytime soon, is one that would test you. Or perhaps your child that struggles with depression or some other ailment of enduring internal battles. It is a good time to know.
I remember the movie, with Clint Eastwood, riding into the town that he painted red and renamed Hell. The people of the town had been tested about their courage and had chosen humiliation and servile obedience to the random thugs. It is a theme of many stories. The problem is always the same, it is the choice to rise and confront in the face of danger or submit to tyranny. The town despised the reality of their complicity to weakness being shown to them by a stranger, but when confronted with the option to live on their feet or grovel on their knees, some chose to rise to the call. Others chose to hide. It was a good time to rise to the call.
The adventure is a hard one. To rise is to risk loss. The problem is not that, for it is known. The true problem is to “not rise”, for that is a cost we don’t know. We know there is one, but the toll is not known. To stand up to the tyrant is to choose the cost that may be, over the history of that which we know. To tell your parent that you are an adult and will suffer the consequence is the role of all children. To have prepared them well to do so is the role of all parents. The sooner the better, the stronger the better. Wisdom is found in the small things like picking up the toys, making the bed and tying the shoes. Then when the bigger choices come, there is a history and a resolve. It is a good time to be tested.
Failure will come, so know that. Discovering gravity results in the crashed bicycle on gravel, the skateboard on the hill too steep, the tree limb that is not strong. Discover anyway. To shield yourself or those you love from danger is to miss the chance to develop strength. The strength of friendships that come to your aide. The strength to confront the bully, and to know that the calling of names is to build a reserve of character that is deeper than the surface. To have a keel that will not shift, or rot, is the place that Clint showed in the confronting of the reluctance of the townspeople and then to the thugs. It is a good time to discover your true self, before the bigger call is asked of you.
Victory will not be certain. Times and circumstances change. Know that you are vulnerable, but strong and braver than before. Say no to the things that don’t move you forward. Confront your willingness to yield. Step toward your desire, it is the path less taken for a reason. It is filled with adventures, but they are the roots of memories told around the campfires of later times. It is a good time to try.
The fight will be real. To stop following the wind is to face the demons of your own inadequacy and the fear of those that counted on you supporting theirs. To step into the wind while it blows is to know that you will be stripped of the things that matter not. To step into the journey is to be resolved but adaptable. Results, more than style, will come with the perseverance that honors the calling that is in your place that knows these things. It is a good time to fight the fight that is noble, not the one that is expedient.
When the town is safe and the new sheriff given the badge, Clint rode away. Knowing that you are done is sometime clear, and other time less so. The town was a mess and the undertaker had a job to do, but that was for a different hero. The time to leave was for Clint to honor, and he did. The task of cleaning up and building a new life after the crisis required a different leader to rise from ignobility to substance, but that was not the role of the traveler. He had come for a reason, which was done, and had to move along. Perhaps he was as the tumble weed, and he knew not where. Perhaps the plot would be revealed as he traveled but staying was not his role. The place of adventure for the towns people was to believe that they could step up their contributions to the betterment of the rest. For the traveler to have stayed would have changed him and the town, for they would have counted on the rescuer and not themselves. It is a good time to depart and to see what adventure is in store. Perhaps the parting is to leave your cowardice and rise to the adventure of leading, right where you are.
Tomorrow is unknown. If you are not being your best at that which you have skill, or are in need of skills yet unknown, that may be your adventure. Learn a new language or skill. Be teachable, for that combined with curiosity, is a gift to the rest of us. Be in a place of wonder, which is a child’s mind, and listen to the craftsman of a different talent. You will not only learn of their skills but also of the heart that drives them. Be curious about your world that you are walking in and you will hear the tales of the shipwrecks survived and lessons learned along the way. Of talents and scars and loss and gain. Of adventures taken and memories made. It is a good time to hope.