luke on the trail

"Choose to be a locomotive. The cars will follow." - Gregge Tiffen

As I began to write about this idea of being the locomotive in your life, the two words ‘loco’ and ‘motive’ jumped out and me and as often happens in this Thursday morning writing space, the direction shifted … a least just a little bit. For me, that’s part of the joy of this commitment to write and share each week. And, that commitment is part of being the locomotive in my life, no matter how others respond.

Some days I discover that takes courage. Someone makes a comment that I take for a moment as a criticism. As long as that criticism is in play in my decisions, I’ve become the car, allowing someone else’s opinion to be the locomotive. Awareness first, then the courage to choose differently, put me back as the leader in my life.

It takes courage as well to buck the world’s ways, many of which seemed designed to keep us as box cars or tankers in the train of life, following what they would have us do. Parents, family, friends, schools, teachers, and more are well intentioned in what they offer, but they can’t know us and how we operate. They can’t know what is true for us, just as we can’t know them or any other. [Have I mentioned how I’m learning that living my life is a full time job (especially when I choose to be the locomotive!)? That, if you will, is a story for another day.]

I’ve long thought that many people ‘diagnosed’ as ‘crazy’ in some form need less pharmaceutical drugs and more understanding and space to be who they are.   In my heart I believe they are simply on a different learning trajectory than the systems – religious, educational, business, government – are designed to support. My heart sometimes aches for them and for what we lose in the approaches that we take toward those who don’t conform.

For me, being the locomotive in my life looks like living life as a learning laboratory. My motive is found in the question ‘what can I learn today?’ Some days it may be learning from a tree or a rock on our daily walking paths, or perhaps the soothing sound of a mountain stream has a message. This week I’m being curious about how to stay in my own rhythm and timing as I engage in the process of buying a home. And, at the same time, a small part of me wonders if that decision isn’t itself perhaps a bit ‘loco’.

Perhaps it may not “make sense” by all of the measures of the world. But, in my heart and my being, I deeply know it’s my next big step in life. Operating from that place, I look forward to discovering what cars line up to follow on my track.

Question for the Week: Where might you dare to experiment in the joy of being the locomotive in your life?