“All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Isn’ t this the truth. Sometimes it appears that life in nothing but a series of hurdles. Once you get over one hurdle or solve a problem there is another one sitting right in front of you. How can you possibly make progress if everything is a challenge? Progress is precarious. It seems like we are living on a treadmill, just spinning in place.
While it may actually seem that way, there is more to our progress than we realize. First of all, if we weren’t making progress at all, we would not have cleared that first hurdle or solved that first problem. There is progress in accomplishment. Whenever we overcome an obstacle or celebrate any positive event, we have made progress. Now the pace of our progress may not be what we desire, expect or demand of ourselves – we are still making progress every single time we move forward.
Some of my bike rides have been headlong into the wind. Some of those windy rides have been uphill, as well. Talk about making no progress. Into the wind, uphill and with my physical frame progress is slow—I mean really slow. I remember one time passing by one of those portable radar signs and my speed registered a whopping 9MPH. I almost started laughing. I was going around half what I normally ride at. That is making little progress.
As I climbed up the hill, despite the pace, I could see that slowly, but surely, I was getting closer to the top of the hill. I knew that I was almost at the end of the climb. As a result, I was able to push on and force myself to crank just a little steadier and a little harder until I got the top and could let gravity do some of the work.
The challenge with our progress is that when we are climbing uphill, we have no way of knowing when we are going to get to the top. We have no real way of knowing how close we are to the end of the climb. All we have is that sense within ourselves that we are moving, we must be making progress and eventually we will get to the top of the climb.
It would be easy to stop. It would be even easier to turn around and let gravity take us back to where we started. However, we also know how hard we have worked to get to this point. We know how much we have committed to working uphill, sometimes into the wind to get to the point where we are today. There really is no turning back.
Progress is nothing more than motion. Keep moving forward, in the right direction, and you are making progress. You are only not making progress when you stop or turn around. Trust in your progress. Have faith in your effort and your commitment. Keep moving and you will eventually stop climbing. Then, gravity will take over and you will be able to celebrate an incredible accomplishment!