My grandfather was always up to something. He always had a plan, a hobby, a project to work on. Even when he got old, he didn’t sit still for too long. When health finally forced him to stop, that’s when he went on to be with the Lord. I remember my grandfather as a guy who never stopped moving forward, looking for the next thing to build, the next place to go, the next person to help . . . He didn’t just talk, he did. With this as his attitude in life, the advice he gave me one day appeared to be a little out of character.
Emotionally, I was going through a rough patch in life. From the outside perspective, it looked like
things were going well for me. Life was
working out just fine. I had a house, a
family, a job . . . but I was not content.
I couldn’t figure out what I should be doing next. Should I be working harder? Should I be doing more? Or should I just be happy with things the way
they were? That’s when my grandfather
told me “Sometimes, you just coast.”
“Sometimes, you just coast.”
It sounded like good advice at the time and I’ve never forgotten it, but
recently, I have wondered if it is really true.
After all, the Bible says we should run life as a race. Run to win.
That doesn’t sound like coasting to me.
On the other hand, there are also stories in the Bible where God told his
people to relax. To stop striving. He would fight the battle for them.
I think my issue was that I was confusing coasting with
drifting. Now, maybe my grandfather wasn’t
purposefully so choosy with his word, but even so, I’m glad he said “…
sometimes you just coast …” and not “… sometimes you just drift …” Drifting
is aimless. You just go wherever the
currents of life take you. Coasting is
still purposeful. When you coast, you
still aim toward the goal. You still move in the right direction, but you stop
striving so hard to get there. You stop
pumping the peddles of the bicycle like crazy, relax a bit, lift up your head,
and enjoy the breeze as you coast toward your goal.
In life, there are always hills to climb, times when you
have to peddle hard just to make progress.
Times when you feel like giving up, like you will never make it to the
finish line. That’s when you build
strength and character by keeping your head down and pushing the peddle with perseverance. But if that were all there was to the journey
of life, most of us would give up before reaching the destination.
I’m glad there are times when we can coast. Times of resting and refreshing and being
content. The important thing is to know
when to coast, to recognize and enjoy it when you can, and to always keep
steering in the right direction. I guess
that’s what my grandfather was trying to tell me years ago. Sometimes in life, “you just coast.”