One of the books I’m reading is Andy Andrew’s, The Noticer, which was recommended to me by my friend John. It was sitting on a pile of new arrivals from Amazon and it was the right size to grab on the way out the door the other day when I knew I’d have some waiting time during which I could read. The book tells the story of a drifter named Jones, who has a gift for seeing things differently from most people, and the impact he has on the people with whom he comes in contact. Jones offers each a little “perspective,” he would say, on their situation.
Early in the book, Jones meets the narrator, who at the time is homeless and living under a pier. In trying to give the narrator some perspective, Jones tells him,
Think with me here…everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you’ll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what’s a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination – our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enable us to summit life’s next peak. So, my contention is that you are right where you are supposed to be.
It is not always easy slogging through the valleys. That path is sometimes painful and often difficult. But the difficulties offer us room and opportunity to grow and the occasional views of our “next target” give us the encouragement and impetus to continue along the way, “learning and becoming” what we need to be able to reach that target.