The bushy-tailed rodent darted out from the thicket of trees stretching along the left side of the rural South Carolina highway. He continued across the double yellow line, into my lane of travel and then came to an abrupt stop. He seemed to be looking me straight in the eye as we instantly became aware of our collision course.
My knee jerk reaction was only sufficient to divert my 3,000 pound Chevy a few feet to my left, but wholly insufficient to avoid turning the 24 ounce critter into a hairy pancake.
It was now the split moment of decision for this mini traveler. Would he live or die? To live, he would have to continue along the course he had started; to die he would stay frozen in fear, or, equally disastrous, turn and retreat in the direction from whence he came. I'm happy to say the little guy chose life!
As we both continued on our separate paths, I was struck by this thought:
At key times in our lives, we will find ourselves drawn in a direction by a desire or notion. It is a seed of faith that envisions what "could be". But this summons to destiny requires action on our part; that we take forward steps, in accordance with the inspiration.
For these possibilities to be realized and for us to take possession of these promises, we must refuse to become immobilized with doubt, or paralyzed by fear of the unknown. The greatest threat to fulfillment is our choice to retreat or withdraw into the comfort of "the familiar".
All too often, the pathway to promise is strewn with the roadkill of ideas and dreams aborted. May we learn the lesson from the squirrel who showed it is not how we start the journey that matters, but how we finish.