Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going on a Bear Hunt

One of my favorite children's books is Going on a Bear Hunt. I only first discovered this book when I was in college and working with children with autism. One little boy named Joey absolutely loved that book. I know I've heard it or read it at least 1,000 times. The message of the book has finally sunk in as I apply it to my life.

In the book (it's also an echo speech piece), you're looking for a bear. You're not scared. You have your "lunch by your side and your camera too." Throughout the book, you come to different obstacles - thick mud, tall grass, a big lake, etc. Each time the same phrase, "Can't go over it. Can't go under it. Gotta go through it," is repeated. As soon as that obstacle is overcome, you state again your focus - "Going on a bear hunt" - and that you're not scared. After all, you've got your "lunch by your side and your camera too."

At the end, you come to the cave, find the bear, and then turn around and run like crazy through the mud, across the lake, through the tall grass, and through all the other obstacles until you are safely back where you started.

Does this sound like life? I believe, "Can't go over it. Can't go under it. Gotta go through it," certainly applies to mine. When I meet obstacles I often want to go around them, but just like the book says, "I gotta go through them."

"I've got my lunch by my side" - food for the journey, the essentials needed in life. I also have my camera - the fun loving part of life, the extra things that make life interesting. The camera coud also represent my memories. It takes documentation of where I've been and keeps it on file.

It's interesting all the obstacles that were overcome in the book, but yet when the person came to the cave, that was the last place he/she wanted to be. In that case, it was a wise decision.

How often in life have I worked hard for something, overcome obstacles, and then not been happy with the outcome? Did I make the pursuit for the right reasons? Was I looking for the greener grass and then realized I was happy where I was? Was I afraid of the success once I achieved it? Was I out of my element and felt out of place once I arrived, so retreated to where I started? All questions to ponder.

Right now, I'm just trying to get through the obstacles, so I tell myself, "I'm going on a journey. I'm not scared. Got my faith by my side and my wisdom too. Coming to (fill in the blank). Can't go over it. Can't go under it. Gotta go through it."

Blessings on your journey. Remember:
1. Consult with God. (Not mentioned in the book, but should be the first step.)
2. Know your purpose. (What's your focus or goal?)
3. Bring along what you'll need. (Faith, prayer, wisdom, experience, help from others, etc.)
4. Continue through any obstacles. (Don't waste energy trying to go over, under, or around. They exist. You gotta go through them.)
5. When you reach your goal, rejoice. Look how far you've come and how much stronger you are because of your journey and persistence.
6. Evaluate. Don't just run back to where you started. You worked hard to get where you are. Ask yourself, "Is the outcome what you want? Is it a safe and healthy place to be?"
7. Start over. (Consult with God, know your purpose, bring along what you'll need, continue through any obstacles, rejoice, evaluate.)

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