My Uncle Ted. What a guy!
Growing up as kids, us cousins, would spend a few weeks of our summers up north at the cottage. There was nor will be anything better than those summer weeks.
One of our treats was to visit the sand dunes. Back then it was much less commercial and easier to do what we wanted where we wanted.
The wheels of the car could barely stop turning before the doors flung open and we leaped out (no seat belts to hinder us then) and started our crab scramble up the hill. We all knew we had a short window to get a start before Uncle Ted released his torture.
We didn’t enjoy the climb, take in the scenery and never looked back. We knew at any minute Uncle Ted would strike.
We could be 10 feet up the hill or one third up the hill when “Got cha!” he would yell as he grabbed our ankles and pulled us down.
We would holler, complain and laugh all at the same time.
Then we would start again. We hoped he would be distracted by something else and not notice our movement forwarded.
Again, out of nowhere the ankle grab and his laughter pulled us back down. Sometimes all the way back, sometimes not too far.
Again, and again this happened until he either got tired, or our laughter started to subside or it was getting closer to leaving.
Eventually, finally, after all the torture and travails of Uncle Ted we cleared the top.
We knew every year it would be the same, yet we looked forward to it and would never want it any other way.
As, I was assessing a negative turn in my life I thought “life is just like Uncle Ted. We are climbing up and moving forward and at any given time something will grab our ankle and pull us down.” It could be conflict, sickness, economics, stress, family issues, strife, you name it. There is plenty out there to pull us down.
We can sit in the spot where life pulled us down and not try to move forward because it’s too hard, too sad, too tough, too alone or we can move up, dig in and climb again.
Each time we get pulled down we know we have a choice. Each time we get pulled down we see we’ve survived the last set back – as long as we chose to move forward.
I don’t know what your Uncle Ted is. We all have them. I’m dealing with a whole family of Uncle Ted’s right now but the problems will not define me nor change my course.
I choose to scramble ahead keeping just ahead of Uncle Ted. If he grabs me I know I will sit a minute, pray a bit, catch my breath and then I can choose. Sit there while the rest of the world climbs ahead or I can dig in, crab crawl and enjoy the time I’m ahead of Uncle Ted.
One day when we get to the top we will look back at Uncle Ted and laugh about the fact that we gave him so much power over our lives.
Who’s your Uncle Ted?