I wonder how many blessings we miss because we are “too busy”? Last week my wife and I had company from Alaska. These are friends that we have known for twenty-two years. They are really more in the “family” category than the “friends” category. I coordinated my two days off with their visit and thought that I did a pretty good job of not working too much during that time. On their second (and last) full day, I suggested that I stay home while our company went hiking with my wife in Madera Canyon. I was feeling a lot of pressure to get our over-flowing garage cleaned up to be ready for my ’68 Mustang GT/CS to come home from the mechanic this week-end. I knew that out of the next ten days I would be out of town for eight of them. Of the remaining two days, one of them was a work day, and the other day already had family plans. Then an amazing thing happened! I clearly heard a voice saying that I should go hiking. The voice sounded a lot like my wife’s voice…

Madera Canyon is a wonderful place in nature that is located just outside of Sahuarita, where my wife and I live. This is the second time that we have lived in Sahuarita. Adding the two times together, we have lived in Sahuarita for a total of six years. Anyone want to guess how many times during those six years I hiked in Madera Canyon? “Zero” would be a good guess! I intended “some day” to go hiking there but was always “too busy”. I appreciate that my wife strongly encouraged me to change this number!

It really was a beautiful day for hiking! We hiked with our friends many times in Alaska but have had limited opportunities in Arizona. Once the hike was started, I appreciated the opportunity to make new memories. One of those memories happened while I was leading the group. I looked to my right, and a deer was frozen right next to the trail. It was close enough that I could almost reach out and touch it. With careful sign language, I tried to help the rest of the group see the deer. I wanted a picture, but I was going to scare the deer if I made a move for my cell phone. We could see another deer moving towards us.

Near the end of the hike, two of us were sitting on a picnic table while the other two went to use the restroom. I could hear something walking in the brush. Once I focused on it, I could see that it was brown. What could it be? Then I realized that it was a really big tom turkey. This time I took pictures! I’ve heard my wife talk about seeing wild turkeys, though this was a first for me.

The best part of the day was spending time with our friends and my wife. I don’t know when the four of us will get our next chance to hike together. Life is unpredictable, and we don’t know what will happen in the future.

How about you? Are there opportunities that you are missing because you are “too busy”? When we look back on our lives, which of the best memories stand out the most? Are we taking the time to make more of these memories? I wonder how many of us will really regret we didn’t do more work.

              Your brother on the journey, Mark

Further thoughts: This Friday my wife and I are going to Chase Field in Phoenix to watch the Diamondbacks play the San Francisco Giants. A new memory! On Saturday my wife will drive me to Sierra Vista to pick up the Mustang GT/CS. Although the garage has still not been organized, I’m confident that we will be able to make room for the Mustang.

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