The Young Man

    Years ago, there was a young man. He wasn’t that extraordinary, just a typical young man but there was one thing he was exceptionally good at. He was the best person in the world at riding a pogo stick. 

    He would ride around his home. He would rife it to the store. He would ride it to school. Everywhere he went he went on a pogo stick.

   One day he decided he would do something with his amazing gift that no one had ever done before. He would ride a pogo stick around the world. He would start at his home and go all across the globe till he was back again.

    He wasn’t crazy, he knew he couldn’t ride it across the oceans. He would ride it on the boat across the ocean. The only time he would stop would be to sleep. He would eat on a pogo stick, he would shave on a pogo stick, he would cross the ocean on a pogo stick. He would cross the deserts on a pogo stick. He would cross the great forests on a pogo stick. He would cross mountains on a pogo stick. He would go through cities and villages on a pogo stick. He would cross the world on a pogo stick no matter how long it took.  

He set off one day to make history. He rode his pogo stick from his little town across the country to the Atlantic Ocean. He boarded a ship and crossed the ocean, always on the pogo stick. He crossed the valleys, the mountains, the jungles, the deserts, and other oceans on a pogo stick. Finally, he made his way home.

    When he was approaching his little town, a huge crowd had gathered to see him finally coming home. There were friends, family, town people, and reporters there waiting. Then he finally crossed the finish line and stepped off his pogo stick.

Was it Worth It?

    Before he could even catch his breath and before the cheers had died down a question came from one of the reporters there: “Was it worth it?”

  The question caused most people there to quiet down. They all wanted to hear about crossing the world on a pogo stick but someone had asked a question they had not thought of. 

   He stood there for a moment to formulate his answer and get his thoughts together. Then he began to speak.

 “I have crossed countries. I have crossed oceans, I have crossed deserts, I have been through villages and cities. I have crossed the world on a pogo stick and I saw none of it. I did not have time to appreciate the valleys or the mountains. I did not have time to appreciate the scenery of the places I went through. I did not have time to see the wonder all around me. The whole time I was traveling around the world I was on a pogo stick. The only thing I was focused on was the pogo stick. I can tell you all about how the pogo stick did on the journey, but I cannot tell you anything of what I went through. My answer would have to be “NO”, it was not worth it. I cannot tell you any stories of the things I saw as I crossed the world on a pogo stick because my sight was fixed on the pogo stick and on what was right in front of me. I made the journey and have arrived exactly where I started. I did something that no one had done before and all of you are here to cheer and hear the great stories I have but I don’t have them. Now that I am back, I have a new plan. I am going to go through my whole journey again. I am going to cross the country and the great oceans. I will cross the valleys and the mountains. I will cross the deserts and the jungles. I will travel to villages and cities. I will NOT do it on a pogo stick. This time I am going to see all the wonders I went through but did not see. If I return from this next adventure, I will tell you all of the stories you wanted to hear this time, but I cannot guarantee I will come back. I might not even make it all the way around again. It takes more time to actually enjoy the wonders of God's creation than to freely pass through them unaffected by them. You can have my pogo stick, I will never ride it again.”

   Most of the crowd had no response to his answer, one reporter did. All he did was smile and walk off. 

  This is what happens to us in life a lot of times. We get so fixed on reaching a goal or so focused on what is right in front of us that we forget what is actually important. We set out with a goal in mind and only end up where we started. We, as people, miss the point a lot of the time.

   I have done this fishing a lot of times. I went out to catch fish and got frustrated when I wasn’t catching anything. I was completely missing the fact that I was in a beautiful part of God’s creation that actually still works the way God wants it too. The Grand Design and all its wonder were all around me and I was frustrated and angry because I wasn’t catching anything.

    I try not to let MY PLANS get in the way of the Big Picture, but I still have my moments and have to remind myself of what is really important and why I am really there.

   Usually, I go fishing to relax and forget about the rest of the world but sometimes I get overconfident in my skills and decide to go catch some fish. I might be a decent fisherman, but I am in no way good enough for it to be called catching. The only way I know of to guarantee that I come home with fish is to buy them.

   I try to remind myself that going fishing is just an excuse I use to get away from things that are stressful. I try to remind myself that I am really there because I love being in those places.

 I try to remind myself that I am there to remember why I am HERE.

   Yes, I still have to remind myself of those things. I still have a lot to learn. I will always have a long way to go. I will never be perfect. I get better, I try every day, but some days I don’t succeed. I’m just a man. I am also thankful that I did not have to travel the world on a pogo stick to realize what is important in life. I hope you don’t either.

Live by FAITH. Love the outdoors. Life is out HERE!

written by Benjamin Evans