On a hot Saturday afternoon I went out to move the horses into the shade and feed lunch. In the process of putting out lunch and moving everyone Princess, our escape artist, opened the gate to the arena and let everyone out. Usually not a problem as the horse area of the yard is completely fenced and the main gate leading off the property is typically chained and closed.
As I heard the familiar rattle of Princess opening the gate latch in the arena I glanced over to the main gate to ensure it was locked, only to see it was not only unchained but open as well. Of course I was further away from the gate than the horses and they quickly noticed the opportunity.
The race to the open gate was on and three of the five horses managed to escape before I reached it. Butler, Princess, and Cisco were out freely running around exploring the neighbor’s yard and racing up and down the dirt driveway. Had this been an intentional outing I would have enjoyed the zest and zeal they expressed for this new adventure. However, their excitement over this new adventure didn’t rub off on me and now I had my work cut out.
Fortunately within a few minutes everyone was back in the yard safely and without incident, quietly eating lunch. Once the adrenaline had subsided the little voice in my head started giving a personal lecture about closing and chaining gates, how did I let that open gate happen, what was I thinking, and so on…..
Realizing it was a mistake and I didn’t want to go down the path of beating myself up, it dawned on me. There was another way to look at this experience. As soon as this thought came into my mind a switch flipped and my experience changed to one of awareness and insight.
When we move through life without intent and purpose, dreams and passion, we can leave our gates unsecured and open. Both good and bad can then easily move in and out of our lives, unchecked and uncontrolled. And sometimes, as in this case, what’s precious to us can slip away.
Where in your life are there open gates needing to be shut? Are there gates to your dreams and passions that have remained locked and secured that are waiting to be opened and walked through? Have things precious to you slipped away from neglect, not feeling you’re worthy, or by being ignored?
Survey your life landscape. Determine which gates or pathways serve and support your goals and dreams. Recognize those that don’t. Not all gates or pathways were meant to be used forever. And then with intent and purpose open or close the gates you desire. It may take a little courage and strength as some of the gates may be rusty from lack of use, let your heart and passion guide you. Keep your goals and dreams in view, recognize mistakes and successes as part of the process, and keep moving through the gates onto the pathways you desire.