November, 2015 – Purpose
By Dr. Bonnie Lyon
Wrapped in the “thrill of the chill” I cautiously, descended from the nosebleed section of the stadium, down hundreds of steps onto the ice. The skaters effortlessly, swirling past us made skating look so easy! What a fun day was ahead!
That day I had my three little grandchildren with me. The two youngest had never braved the ice rink before and the oldest, their 11-year-old brother had only been ice skating once. As always, I was encouraging, excitedly telling them how fun it would be to glide on the ice, fall, get back up, and champion on!
My job that day was very clear. I gave them preliminary instructions, provided them with reassurance and sent them out on a brand-new life experience. With hesitation in their faces and excitement in their movements, they were each up to the challenge. They trusted my words, that it would be fun, even as they were unsure of their ability. Off they went a bundle of giggles and high hopes of this new unknown adventure.
Suddenly as if caught in a time warp, I was transported back over decades to when I was their age. I remembered how free it felt to swish over the ice; making figure eights, toe spins, fast stops, dancing with friends on the ice with not a care in the world. How fun it was! I wanted that same exhilarating experience for these precious ones.
Often, I’ve struggle with the thought that I don’t have enough to give to these children, because I couldn’t be out there on the ice with them (which is where I long to be). A moment of doubt ensued and suddenly I felt foolish to even bring them ice skating.
And, so began my wrestling with the thought that it would be better for them if their parents took them so they could be out there on the ice and show them how to skate. There I was heading go to a place of deep contemplation, searching for significance in the situation, prepared to call them off the ice, pack them in the car and get them home.
Then, my thoughts are interrupted by the bubbly voice of 8-year-old Rylin, zooming up the side and exclaiming that it was time for hot chocolate and I’m riveted out of my head. We clasp hands and climb the 100 steps up to the warm place where we not only order our 3 hot chocolates and corn dogs too!
What fun! How happy the boys are following in our wake, excited, happy, and feeling full of promise and confidence as they’re merrily talking and telling of their experiences down below! They are having so much fun they forget being timid or scared! They know they can do it! They are learning to skate and it is fun!!
“Please, Grammy, stay here and watch our hot chocolate and corn dogs because they are too hot to eat. We will be right back. We want to go skating until our food cools off.” Without waiting for an answer, they scampered off their seats, out the door and down the cold steel steps to the ice!
Meanwhile, I was left to contemplate my thoughts. “See they don’t need me, I thought. I am not even able to share this experience with them. How can I be an influence in their lives if I can’t participate?” My thoughts began to plummet; my shoulders began to droop. I was recovering from minor knee surgery, sigh.
I also had never heard of a blind ice skater, although, no doubt there must be some brave, accomplish souls that have mastered such a feat! I found myself examining my true worth to these young ones and my ability to truly be interactive in their unfolding lives.
Although I have NEVER been good at sitting on the sidelines, these thoughts began streaming in my mind:
“You give them what they need, yourself. They trust they can skate because you told them they could and they are learning they can do what you say they can do. They know where to find you, they trust you will be there and available for them and meet their needs when they come back. That’s what they need from you. Be still and know I am God. I make no mistakes and your blindness is not a mistake it is a gift, if, you allow my light to shine through your darkness and you don’t get lost in it. “
The steel sounds of the blades of 6 small feet quickly approaching jerked me back to reality. “We’re hungry! We are having so much fun! Thank-you Grammy for bringing us ice skating! This is really, really, the “fun-nest” day ever, exclaimed Cameron, always full of total energy and wanton curiosity! That was my purpose to just be there. I didn’t need to define it. What joy! It was a fabulous day for us all!
When I give up the right and even arrogance, to run my own life, base my assessment on how “everyone” else is, I realize I am more than I do. I am not here alone. I know where to find God, how to find my purpose.
This works for me, time and time again. This is my relationship with my higher power. I encourage you to create your own, with yours. I work with people of all faiths, all religions and those who have none. I’ve got wisdom to share for all, give me a call.