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Many prepare for life, but then they never take the first step

In recent walks through a park near my house that offers trails between forests and streams, on several occasions I saw families and groups of people perfectly prepared for the walk, but then, for different reasons, they did not even take the first step. Many people live life that way.

In one case, a group of young people came to the parking lot in a van and within seconds all the young people got out of the vehicle and frantically began to prepare for the walk. For example, they put bottles of water and snacks in their backpacks, applied sunscreen and bug spray, and grabbed their climbing sticks.

Then when everyone was ready, one of them opened a map and suggested going down a certain trail. Another young man, standing next to a large map of the park painted on a sign, indicated that there was a better trail. Still another participant in the group, using the map on his smartphone, opined that he had chosen the best trail for everyone.

What followed was a seemingly an endless discussion (it probably lasted about ten minutes) between them to decide who was right, which trail they should choose, and which map was wrong. After the heated debate, the debated ended and they all came to the same conclusion: they got back into the truck and drove off, not having taken a single step on any of the trails.

Many people do that: they care more about being right than about traveling the path of life. They are so addicted to their beliefs that they deter others from going out and walking through life before accepting that, in this life, there is more than one path and there are paths for everyone.

In the other incident, an entire family (grandparents, parents, and children) arrived at the trailhead with shiny new gear. The mother proceeded to teach the children how to use the climbing pole, including the correct angle of the elbow and neck for the pole to be efficient. And then she taught them how to read a map and how to use a compass.

Next, the father of the family led the entire family in warm-up exercises, first without the pole and then using the pole to do leg and arm stretches. After the warm-up, everyone shared a little snack, and when it looked like they were ready to start walking, new instructions arrived.

The mother reminded the children that they should wear their masks and maintain social distancing, that they should not touch or take anything, that they should not talk to strangers, and that they should not walk away from their parents.

Then, they returned to their vehicle, got in and left. Although everything they had done was fine and all indications were true and correct, they did not walk a single step on a path. Many live like this: always preparing and never acting.

Life is not a rehearsal: either we live it, or we are already dead.

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