It was a hot and humid day.  I think that may be the tropical equivalent of “It was a dark and stormy night,” but perhaps “It was a hot and humid night” fits better.  No matter.

The weather has been miserable.  Yesterday the temp was 96 degrees F. with a heat index of 105 and humidity in the high 80’s. We’re not expecting much different today.  Pity the poor guys who have to work out in this stuff, keeping up spoiled rich folks’ landscaping, but on the other hand it’s good that they have jobs so that they can eat and send money back to their families in whatever country they came from.

Americans today simply don’t “get,” for the most part, that we were all immigrants at some point in our family history.  My family came to French Canada in the mid-17th Century.  Thank God for that!  (Or maybe not; if they were still in Brittany we’d have free health care!)  No matter.  They wanted to make their own way, and were willing to work at whatever it took to realize their dreams.

Your family was probably the same: hard workers busting their asses so that we, their descendants could enjoy the necessities of life: TV, mobile phones, cars at 10% below dealer cost, and the best politicians money can buy.  Everyone took their turn at the bottom, and that’s the way it goes today.

Today’s reading in Answers in the Heart included this phrase, “It is a moment of wonder when we have something in our lives that requires the best we have to give.”  Our forefathers gave that kind of effort for us, and so that those who came after them would enjoy the same opportunities. 

I try to imagine the feelings of those Frenchmen who first set foot on the shores of the St. Lawrence: relief because they were on dry land at last, fear of the unknown, uncertain futures, but an absolute conviction that they were going to do the best they could.  How brave they were!

I wonder if I have that kind of conviction, or that willingness to set off into the unknown without even the certainty of getting to my destination?  What faith must have driven them?  What circumstances back in Europe must have given them the push to make a home in the New World?  Do I have that kind of guts?

Yes.  I’m in recovery.  I’ve forsaken the known for the unknown, the misery of addiction for the scary but hopeful future promised by those who went before me.  First I had faith, and then I came to believe. Now I know.

I came to recovery a stranger in a strange land.  I remained because I saw the promise.  I left the comfort zone (finally) and did the work — something that I can be proud of.  I try to pass that on to others, so that they can experience the benefits too; the way our forefathers did, back before we got spoiled by the fruits of their toil.

I wonder if they’d be proud of me?

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1 thought on “Guts

  1. mullguy

    I am 57 and I have been doing the same type of work for 35 years. For the most part I have always done the reasonable and conservative thing which in my case is to ride it out to retirement. But I don’t want to. I wish I had the guts to quit my job and take off to wherever my car will take me. Any major change we make takes guts I suppose


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