Isaac has discovered the great outdoors. He points at the front door and says, "Door?" while looking up at me hopefully. Unfortunately, up until recently we haven't been going outside much because it has been so cold and wet. But now that it's warming up, we've been going out a lot more, which he loves.
So yesterday, when he pointed at the door and wanted to go outside, I agreed. "Yes, we'll go outside. Come here so we can put your shoes on." He remained at the door, stretching his arm as far as he could to try to grab the doorknob that is just out of reach. I held up his shoes and gestured encouragingly at the chair where he always sits to put his shoes on. "Isaac, come put on your shoes, and we will go outside." He became a bit hysterical at this point, so I picked him up and put him on the chair so I could put his shoes on his feet. He cried and wiggled and flailed around, desperately wanting to go outside and not understanding that what we were doing in that very moment was a vital step toward that goal. What he saw as a hindrance was actually a necessary preparation. He was so focused on the thing he wanted that he didn't realize that what he was experiencing right then was good; in fact, it seemed bad to him.
And I wondered how often I do the very same thing. How often am I so focused on my end goal that I do not realize that what I'm experiencing in the moment may actually be moving me toward the thing I desire? How often do I misinterpret my circumstances, thinking that they are keeping me from going where I want to go, rather than understanding that they are actually preparing me for it?