In the mid-1970s there was a TV show called “Movin’ On” about a pair of truck drivers, Will and Sonny, theme song by Merle Haggard. These guys were not pick up truck drivers as you can see, they drove the big 18 wheelers and probably why Kenworth is still my favorite. Can you imagine the nightmare of one being stuck in deep snow? Or mud? Those things don’t turn on a dime, they are not exactly light and agile, you add in deep slick snow or thick mud? There is a nightmare.
Do you ever feel like that in life? Like you are stuck in molasses or deep thick mud? You know you don’t like where you are, you have a glimmer of maybe not where, but how you would like to be but you haven’t a clue how to get there. Perhaps it is some goal you’ve set, to finish college, or start college, perhaps it’s to take up race car driving or trap shooting. How does one get from here to there? That’s a challenge in and of itself isn’t it?
Now add in perhaps you’ve made a commitment, one that you fully intended to keep. To help someone that needs it out every, say every evening. And so you go along for a few years helping them out every evening. You feel good in the knowledge you are helping someone who needs help, you are doing a kindness. But as time goes on it is beginning to wear on you. You have your own work to do, and your own deadlines to meet. And you are cutting yourself short on things because you do have other responsibilities, at home, at work and in life. And then, then that local community college nearby adds a course in the field you’ve always wanted. It’s for a limited time, only 3 years to see if there is enough interest in it to permanently add it to their roster, and it’s a 2 year degree.
To do it, you will need to face a mountain of obstacles, how will I pay for it? Do I make enough money I can support myself and my dependents? Can I stay where I live? If not, can I find another place? Do I have the time to study and really learn the material? Am I too old to start over in that kind of a college environment, those kids are probably really sharp, will I be able to keep up in class? I used to be a good student, but perhaps my best scholastic days are behind me. That’s a plenty to sort isn’t it?
And then you come to a really big obstacle. You help this person out every night. And they really do need your help. They’ve become accustomed to you, how you do things, and there is a sort of friendship there. You’ve said that you would be there to help them as long as they needed you. But now, now you want to do this. It would give your a different chance in life. Maybe better, maybe not. There are no guarantees, only opportunities, only chances, no guarantees, not a one. So you think you would like to take this chance, you think you would like to break free and run for the chance.
But, what right do you have to break your word? To break the promise you would come every night to help them? There isn’t anyone else and what makes your happiness more important that theirs? After all, you did give your word, you did promise. Oh, back then you didn’t have a crystal ball and didn’t know as time passed the situation would change, but it has. Perhaps you shouldn’t have promised rashly? Perhaps it wasn’t rashly. You really intended to keep that promise. But still, the situation has changed, they always do.
This week I listened to Temple Talk radio like I always do, I love that show and learn so much from it. You can listen to the whole show here.
But this is a little clip just a few minutes long, with the relevant part. Just a smidge over 4 minutes.
So are we allowed to change our minds? Even if it makes someone else sad?
And once we get past that, then we get to deal with all the other things I started out with, paying for it, income, staying where we are and being to old to start over in college and keeping up all our other responsibilities in life.
This was from one of my devotional books yesterday. I have some devotional books I like reading every morning with my coffee.
Another one of them is by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and this was the page I read yesterday.
Ruler of the World, grant me truth!
Spare me from the lies of others.
Help me stop myself from lying to others.
Save me from lying to myself, and spare me from the lies of my own illusions.
O God, never let me live a lie, even for only a moment.
And that’s where the wheels of Will and Sonny’s Kenworth are for I think a lot of people. A faint glimmer of what is wanted, but all 18 wheels stuck in the mud.
Do we live with the illusion that we won’t be sorry we didn’t take the chance, take our shot? Or is the illusion that we won’t miss the routine of our life now? It’s not really all that bad is it now? That when the challenges end up being much more than we dreamed of that we won’t berate ourselves for having thrown, perhaps not happiness, but a stable existence away? And what if it causes us to lose something that is even more dear to us that the thought of that college degree we always dreamed of? Those letters behind our name? The knowledge, oh yes, the knowledge we’ve yearned for. But what if the price for that is far more dear than we anticipated?
I have no answers for anyone, I know someone who does. Hint? He made horses…..