Yesterday, we went to a nearby nature trail for a picnic lunch after church. It had rained Friday and Saturday, so the ground was still wet and muddy in places.
But it was a beautiful spring day and we couldn’t resist, despite the mud. We walked the nature trail, observed animals tracks, discussed bird calls, walked down by the river and found shells, and just enjoyed the quiet, peace, and fun family outing.
When it was time to go, we found a short cut across the field to get back to the parking lot. A lot of people were taking this route and so we followed suit.
There were lots of muddy places on the short cut route, so we kept reminding the kids over and over not to step in the mud. Things were going well until about halfway to the car when one child forgot to look where they were going and stepped right into a mud hole.
They had trouble getting their shoes out from the strong suction of the mud. When they finally did, they had mud all over their shoes and feet and were pretty upset about the whole thing.
The mud slowed them down considerably and us, in turn. Then, we had to spend a long time wiping everything up with baby wipes (the only thing we had!) when we made it back to our car.
It was all good in the end and, once the mud was cleaned up, this child’s attitude lightened considerably. So the fun day was salvaged, in spite of the mud experience.
While we were dealing with all the mud, I kept thinking about the life analogies that it contained. How many times in our adult lives do we get distracted and not pay attention to where we’re going and all of a sudden end up in a muddy mess?
This is especially true when it comes to our finances: we can make a plan for our finances, but then we get busy and we take our eyes off of the path we’d mapped out. We get distracted, we become undisciplined, we let our good habits slip.
Little bit by little bit, we start veering off the path. And then, all of a sudden we can find ourselves stuck in financial mud and frustrated that we didn’t notice we were walking right into it.
The moral of the story? Keep watching where you’re walking.
Have accountability in place so that you’re constantly checking the path (your financial or life goals) to make sure you’re not getting way off course. Those little course corrections will keep you from ending up mired in a mucky mess.