Staying the Course

by T.W. Winslow

If I've learned one thing, it's this world we live in is a wondrous and often perplexing place. Life has a way of leading us in many different directions. Often we must make difficult choices as to which path we're going to follow and what direction our lives are going to take. It's easy to get confused along the way and is sometimes hard to know which path is the right one. 

Looking at my own life I'm amazed at how well things have worked out despite the many mistakes I've made. I say this not because I've amassed great wealth, fame or immense success in my career - I haven't, not even close. I say this because I've been truly blessed in my personal life - my marriage and my children. This is where I find my ultimate happiness and fulfillment, and is the single aspect of my life which has true meaning. Without the love of my wife and the miracle that are my children, my life would be a miserable failure. 

When I consider all the twists and turns my wife and I have negotiated over the years, I realize how truly remarkable it is that we not only ended up together, but have remained together through it all. One wrong decision, one misstep along the journey could have changed everything. So was it merely luck and coincidence that brought us together and has kept our marriage intact all of these years? Is there some secret road map we stumbled upon which has given us the direction necessary to make it this far? I don't think so. 

Though we've had our difficulties and made our fair share of mistakes - myself in particular, we somehow never lost sight of what was truly important. Through it all, no matter what problems, troubles or temptations caused us to temporarily lose our way, we clung to the one thing which gave us our bearings and allowed us to stay the course - commitment. It would have been so easy for one or both of us to have given up when things weren't going right. No marriage is perfect, and no matter how hard we try there will always be times of trouble and uncertainty. However, by always returning to the very foundation of our relationship - the commitment we made to each other, we were able to conquer the problems we encountered. 

Life today offers us almost unlimited choices and possibilities. As a result, temptation and confusion are almost a certainty. Right and wrong can easily become blurred. Things which hold true meaning can be overlooked and passed over for those things which merely have the illusion of fulfillment. However, if we remember the commitment we've made to our partners and allow this to guide us and give us the strength to continue on, we can all weather whatever storms my come our way. 

Personally, remembering those times when I questioned my own marriage, I can only shake my head and think how fortunate I am that I didn't lose everything. For what my wife and I have built together over the years is indeed my everything. It's impossible for me now to imagine life without the love, joy and inspiration which comes from my marriage, my wife, and my children. Because of them my life has been truly blessed, and I am forever thankful we were able to stay the course. 

Passing Thoughts is a syndicated weekly column written by T.W. Winslow - read by millions around the world each week.  For reprint info, contact the author at: taddgroup@aol.com