I'm not sure why, but I've been making a lot of lists lately. That's not exactly true. I've been making lists because I've been on a trip, a pilgrimage if you will, to places Paul spent time and started churches. We've been to Greece and Turkey and am right now in Rome. It's been a really great trip. But like most trips there have been moments we'd like to forget. One of us had his passport stolen and had to get it replaced. One of us slipped and fell while walking the Acropolis (the marble floor, now fragmented yet very smooth) slipped and fell, hurting her knee.
It's been hot and humid and we've walked a lot. A lot.
We've also stood in places Paul stood as he spread the message of Jesus Of Nazareth, visited archeological sites in Ephesus, Corinth, Athens and Rome and seen the place where he was jailed, awaiting his execution.
And so like any well prepared traveler, I have made lists, a list for packing, for gifts to buy, for places to eat and so on. And reflecting on all of this I have been remembering a list I made for my kids when we were about to embark on a trip, a fairly long trip, just them and me.
I called the list "Dad's Rules for the Road" and my daughter, who was just learning to write in cursive, wrote them down. I have always thought these are also good rules for the road of life. Here they are.
If you take a nap the trip goes better.
As I get older I realize more and more the value of good rest. Naps are good!
2. The more you complain the harder it gets.
We've probably all experienced this one. Complaining never solves anything. Never.
3. The less you complain the easier it gets.
The companion to Rule 2. Not complaining makes room for thoughtful problem solving. It works. It really does.
4. All difficult things will pass.
Think about it. Winter is always followed by Spring. In the case of our valley the Summer is always followed by Fall (or the West Wind!).
And the last Rule:
5. Life really isn't fair.
Whoever told you life would be fair lied. Life is not fair. Life just is. We can be fair in life, act fairly, work for fairness, call out those that are unfair, make fairness a way of living.
That's it. Dad's Rules for the Road. What rules do you live by?