‘It’s easier if you walk along the edge,” my husband, Jaime, said.
We were covering unfamiliar terrain. I knew how to hike the packed dirt paths of the midwest and the mountains. Not so with the trails of Utah’s high desert where my boots tossed up a spray of sand with each step. The thin strip along each edge was solid enough, but everything in between gave way under my feet.
“Thanks,” I said, moving away from the middle.
I knew the walking was better along the edge. Still, I kept drifting back to the center, to where I typically positioned myself on the trail, to what was familiar and usually worked. This, friend, is why we don’t do life alone.
Here at Anthem of the Adventurer, we’ve been spending some time with the topic of teams. Dan defines adventure as an experience where you learn by persevering into the unknown and finding fulfillment. He defines a team as two or more individuals coordinating action to create a different future. My husband and I are a team, and in ways we don’t even notice, we are continually creating our future. Here’s the question: Is it the future we want?
A Definition in Action
Two (or more) Individuals: The marriage team has two people, each one with strengths and weaknesses, good days and bad, admirable qualities and damaging habits. Believers also have the presence of the Holy Spirit to show us and strengthen us to do what we could never do on our own.
Jaime and I were two individuals out on the trail, together, walking, talking, and moving toward our destination: a waterfall in the desert. It was one stop on a quick tour through southern Utah, a blip in the timeline of our team.
Coordinating Action: Within a marriage, team members are continually presented with this choice: Will we work with each other (coordinate) or will we not? With the details of our macro-adventure planned and embarked on, each destination became a micro-adventure. Every interaction along the way gave us a chance to work together. Or not.
Jaime noticed I was on a trajectory that would wear me out. It would impact me, him, the hike, and possibly the whole trip. He could offer some help. Or not. And I could accept. Or not.
To Create: In our marriages, our small interactions build the scaffolding for the big ones. We are creating our futures all the time. Again, there’s a question we have to face: Is it the future we want?
Jaime chose to risk sharing some obvious information. I chose gratitude over an inclination to be insulted or offended. Our result was both stamina to finish well and harmony rather than discord.
A Different Future: With age comes the realization of how much life exists outside our control. Here’s what we can control: our response to our circumstances and the people around us. One of my most basic goals is to live in such a way that both my husband and I are still happy to be married when we wake up each morning. It helps me live according to the future I want. Even though I fail—regularly—I know the choices I make in the small things influence the structural integrity of the scaffolding of my marriage. Every day.
That day on the trail, Jaime and I moved toward the future we want in two ways: First, we made it to Lower Calf Creek Falls. Second, we strengthened our scaffolding.
The Home Team
Think about your team. What small step can you take to coordinate action with your spouse to create the future you want to be heading toward?
Let us know. We’d love to hear.
Happy trails ~