Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Big Dreams Come From Redirection

Seeing a gigantic dream at a distance is actually a simple view. Getting there, that's another story.

In Missoula, my home town, I can stand on any one of the mountains and look down on the valley below. The city is quite beautiful. All the landmarks seem the size of a Tonka truck or a pencil eraser. Nothing too big to handle. All beautiful, all easy to see.

Then there are the streets that change from one direction to another but you never turned off. Roads that dead-end but didn't used to until the city redirected traffic. You used to be able to cross the city on South Avenue. Now you're forced to go several blocks out of the way to get to where you want to be. (That's if you are a local and know how to get through the new maze near the mall.)

Why? Because we had too much traffic to handle an intersection where our three main roads through town all met. It was called Malfunction Junction! Cars would wait so long to get through that they'd break down. Smog was thick from exhaust and lots of accidents happened in that one spot from driver impatience.

Traffic has been redirected. It's still a tough area to drive through, but North and South flow better. Those that want to travel East/West, however, now drive several blocks around the intersection in a really interesting pattern.

At street level, in achieving a dream, it feels like you are driving in circles sometimes. You think you know where you want to go, but suddenly the road ends or you get redirected. It's easy to lose sight of the goal.

I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the original view from the mountain. There is a way through the maze of small details. It's always one step, one task, one detail at a time. Just because you have to now turn right to turn left and turn left again, doesn't mean you aren't going the correct direction. It just means that sometimes there are necessary roadblocks to drive around.

There is a way. Be creative. Imagine you are looking for a different route to get to your destination. Draw it out on paper so you can refer to it when you start to get lost. It's your map. You can even show it to others and get a little help if someone has been there before you. Their experience might even give you better directions. Don't be afraid to stop and ask :-)



  1. Excellent post, Angie! It reminded me of when my family was in England when I was a kid. We were trying to visit Canterbury Cathedral, and we could see the massive structure, but we drove and drove around, trying to get there. And we never could! We finally gave up. Talk about frustration. You can practically touch the thing but can't get your car to it.

    It's similar in publishing when you get so close--maybe a submission goes up the chain to committee or an editor asks for revisions. But then you get the rejection.

    It can be hard to stick with it. But everything is in God's perfect timing!

  2. When we focus on the obstacles we lose sight of the goal!

    Wish I could enjoy a view like that. Eastern NC is very FLAT - one can see for a mile or less! (Because of trees and/or buildings.)

    L. Diane Wolfe

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  4. Angie, I hope I get to visit Montana one day. It sounds so beautiful.

    Diane, I didn't know you live in the gold ole Tarheel state. Are you near the Outerbanks? I love the Outerbanks. I'm in the Piedmont area.

  5. By focusing on God, He can help us see the bigger picture and not get bogged down by the challenges and dead ends we run into every day. Great post, Angie!

  6. It was called Malfunction Junction!

    My family live in Missoula, MT and I absolutely love it there. When you mentioned this street I just laughed. Reserve ST. is so over worked in long lines for hours or at least it seems that way. My niece is going to college there and my nephew works in Missoula, but my brother and sister-in-law sold their home and moved to ST. Regis, MT to get away from the traffic.

    Gayla Collins in WY

  7. Hi Gayle! Next time you are in town, you'll have to visit the recreated Malfunction Junction. It's quite an interesting feat in navigation!

    You all have to visit Montana!