Monday, September 20, 2010

Why Wait? The Gate's Always Open

"The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

It's been a busy week since I last wrote:  days filled with destinations and duties, plans and problems to solve, a seemingly endless internal "To Do" list.  And at the end of each day, I'd think: "I haven't written for awhile.  I should do that".  But just as the sprite who wanted to scribble would whisper in one of my ears, the laggard who just wanted to lay around would groan back in the other:  "You're too tired.  You've worked so hard - take a break.  Besides, you don't have anything to say.  Just wait until you feel inspired."

Just wait until you feel inspired.

And I began to think.  How much time have I spent waiting for Life to happen?  Waiting for an answer?  Waiting for the "right person" to appear?  Waiting for what I wanted to be handed to me by luck or circumstance?  Waiting for what I was suffering through to pass?  Waiting for "the coast to be clear" before I acted?  Waiting for an idea, inspiration, insight to be left on my doorstep by some celestial UPS angel (I wonder if he'd wear brown shorts and drive a step-van too!), labeled "Special Delivery - for Jon Schnorenberg?

Slowly, my thoughts reminded me of a rare pearl of a lesson that I have learned over the years, but often forget.

Prudence has its value.  Practicing patience, letting life's rhythms lead me where they may, can be pleasant and sometimes rewarding.

But waiting did not bring me all those things in my life today that I love dearly.

Love requires action.  Passion requires an advance payment:  the willingness to take a risk.  Only when I was willing to take the first step - to "walk through the gate" into the unknown, towards what I loved - was I ever genuinely rewarded.

That's what I had to do when I moved to southern Oregon to pursue a coaching career.
That's what I had to do when that career ended unhappily, and I struggled to regain my confidence and find a new passion to pursue.

That's what I had to do in order to meet the woman who would become my partner, my best friend, my biggest fan, my soulmate, the love of my my wife, Deborah.  And because of that, the last five years of my life have been my happiest...

That's what I had to do when I began this expedition into the "blogosphere" a month ago.

That's what I had to do tonight to light the inner candle of inspiration.

Like Indiana Jones teetering above the abyss, I had to "close my eyes", stick my foot out, and take the first step - out into the unknown.  And see what I would discover.

"Do or do not...there is no try." (Yoda)

That's a good thing for me to remember.  Life's always showing me the gates, and inviting me in to a new world.  Why not just take the step?

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