Compelling Story

It was about 5:30 or so when I climbed out of bed this morning and headed off to watch the sunrise.

It was only 41 degrees as I grabbed a coffee and jumped into the car, all-eager to see what mother nature might serve me up this morning. For Florida, that counts as an exceptionally chilly start to the day but I didn’t care, I was a man on a mission.

The drive there was very dark so I couldn’t tell if I was going to have the right sky or not but sometimes you just have to put your faith in the weather app.

When I made it to the lake’s edge, I could see there was some cloud on the horizon but I had hope it might scatter before the night turned into twilight.

Here is a collection of images from this morning and you can see for yourself the progression from almost darkness to the splash of red that preceded the sun’s arrival.

I put myself into a number of the shots (remotes are handy accessories) and really, that is what made me develop this morning’s blog-thought.

I asked myself what had compelled me to make this morning’s journey, as in all honesty, it would have been easier (and warmer) to just stay at home in bed or with the kitties.

Obviously, in order to overcome the objections, there must have been some kind of driving force that made we want to miss out on a breakfast and venture out into the cold armed with just a cup of black coffee.

So the word “compel” sprang to mind and it was easy for me to answer the question because it is clear in my own mind that I am a real naturalist. The power of nature compels me … to paraphrase a line from the movie, The Exorcist.

But what is it that compels you? And why does everyone develop habits that makes them do certain things?

Things that compel us can be either good or bad. And recognizing what these forces are, is a first step in the process of tweaking our lives away from the bad and towards the good.

I would argue that my passion for all things natural is a good force in my life. It takes me outdoors. It positions me as an advocate of all things natural. It adds positivity into each day that I submit to the force.

But what of negative forces? What makes people drink to excess? Or exhibit intolerant behaviors towards others. Or habitually let people down while missing commitments?

It might be a need to forget about something, an inadequacy within themselves, or a carelessness towards others and the impact we have on them.

But whatever it is, we are better off understanding what it is, where it came from, and how we can tackle it. Thus begins our path to correction.

And it is important that we correct ourselves away from negative tendencies.

If we don’t, we risk being lesser of a person than we otherwise could be and living a life that is a pale imitation of what we could otherwise achieve.

There are dark forces in all our lives. I can’t imagine that there is anyone out there that doesn’t have a negative thought somewhere in their head. And it is OK to have negative thoughts. It is when we allow them to compel us into negative actions that we must pull in the reins and take control.

How often have we seen others take the wrong path … one that leads to destruction or isolation?

This same path is before us too and we can take the same journey quite easily if we don’t stop ourselves and ask why.

At the end of the day, we are all best served when the story of our life is a compelling story. But let’s try to make it a story we are proud of and not an easily-foreseen tragedy.