“Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
We have 15 days until chemo starts for Peter. Anxious about what life will look like two weeks from now, my wife found a nearby resort with a plethora of activities for kids. We decided to take the family for a long weekend of fun before we need to face the next phase. I’m pretty sure COVID began in an indoor water park so the thought of getting in one wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but with a four year old who thinks she’s part fish and a seven year old who just had brain surgery, it was a non-negotiable. As I tried to help Peter find his footing in the pool, I couldn’t help but think just how quickly life can change. After all, he was running and jumping into a pool this fall. As his little sister literally swam laps around him, I felt sad as he tip-toed nervously with me in three-feet-deep water, holding both of my hands. My wife caught my sad stare and waded into the water next to me. "To think," she said, "He couldn’t even lift his head up in December."
As is usually the case, her perspective was much different than mine and exactly what I needed to hear. Thirty minutes later as I watched Peter play in the pool, hitting a beach ball to his sisters, without holding my hands, I couldn’t believe the progress since we first dipped our toes in the water. It’s all about where you choose to mark the starting line. Whether it’s in my relationships, my faith, or my leadership, what milestone or memory am I arbitrarily considering the benchmark? Can I celebrate the progress made today, no matter how small, or am I fixated on past pinnacles that are nowhere nearby? If God rejoices every inch I move closer to Him, why am I only focusing on just how far I still have to go? Regardless of how much progress you’ve made this Lent, let your starting line be today and give thanks for the progress tomorrow.