Saturday, October 10, 2009

The pathway and the goal

Does it seem to you that important events are always complicated by distractions on various levels? For example, as I began to write this, I caught a glimpse of a shadowy shape slipping rapidly across my office floor. Ah ha! The provider of the little mementoes all over my desk has finally put in an appearance. He or she is definitely an abrupt distraction. But just look at the alliteration its presence allowed me in that second sentence! There is always something good about every trial (if we can just look long enough to find it).

So when those challenges arise, I guess we have two general options. We can give up on our efforts to accomplish what is really important, or we can bulldoze our way through the opposition. Perhaps bulldoze is too strong an image, because at times it is enough just to keep inching forward. But if our goal is truly worthy, giving up simply isn’t something we can allow.

No matter what obstacles are strewn in our pathway, we must climb over, around, or under them. Yes, there will be times when our advancing is minimal, perhaps even stopped. Occasionally, we may even find ourselves pushed backward. But that is only an outward position. As long as our minds and hearts are diligent, we will eventually succeed.

During the difficult portions of the journey, how glorious to find that we have companions walking with us. May I share a very special recent experience. On September 9 (2009), I wrote an e-mail to a distant cousin with whom I had corresponded in years past. It was meant to be a “checking in” message, just to see if she had found anything new on the family.

In passing, I mentioned my dream of establishing a Web site where all of the researchers of our family could collaborate. Katina responded that she had that skill and would see what she could do. Many hours later, we are nearing the launch of a Web site that has exceeded even my wildest imaginings.

How grateful I am for Katina’s offering and following through on this huge project. How thankful I am for all those who have corresponded with me, sharing the results of their research. How marvelous the miracles that have brought us all together as members of this interesting family. How we hope that our undertaking will bring even more to an awareness of our kinship, even if the ties are not sanguineous. Sometimes there are siblings of spirit.

So whatever our contribution to this occasionally overwhelming labor of family history, may we make it with a full and dedicated heart. May we share our pieces of the puzzles that draw us ever onward. As we bring our portions, we will eventually see the pattern emerging.

And then one day, we will all be pleased to be reunited with those who made up such a fascinating portrait of an eternal family. That’s the ultimate fulfillment of the dream.

Don’t let anyone or anything convince you otherwise.

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