Have you ever made it to the top of something and found it was not quit what you expected?
On vacation recently we were at this historic hotel in Memphis. This place has one of the more bizarre (okay, kind of dumb, yet great…) traditions I have seen. It’s called the march of the ducks. Everyday at 5:00 p.m. sharp, to the cheers of many, these ducks come out of the fountain in the middle of the hotel lobby, and march along the red carpet to the elevators. They ride those elevators to the top of the hotel where they live in duck luxury. Hundreds of people, including us, crowd into the hotel to watch this march, which is followed by a lot of hype and a invitation to go to the top of the hotel and celebrate.
We actually waited in line for the elevators and went to the top… where we found a flat cement roof, a 110-degree heat index , very few places to sit, closed displays… and no ducks. The real attraction had already taken place. It was a good view and all from the top, but not what we expected, and not worth the wait. I am not sure what we hoped to find up there, now that I think about it, but for sure something different than what we experienced.
I was reading something that Richard Rohr wrote recently in his book Falling Upward. He talked about one of the mistakes we make in life is that we work hard, we strive, but don’t thrive. We climb the ladder of success, but we never pause to really assess what is at the top of that ladder. He observes that “we are more about getting to the top than finding out what is at the top.”
It struck me that if that is our journey—if we are so busy climbing, moving, striving, and we have not taken the time to pause, to process, to assess, and to remind ourselves of the passion and mission that God has placed on our heart, in the first place—we may just lose ourselves along the way. We may just get to the top and ask why did I give all my time, and passion to this…….