So I’ve never, ever enjoyed a western. The whole idea of moving across a dusty plain, fighting off wild animals and people and living in primitive log cabins does not sound appealing to this girl. An occasional hike, walk on the beach and even an overnight or weekend (that may be pushing it) camping adventure I can handle but westerns or western life, not for me. You see, it all seems so physically demanding, hot and dirty I cannot see where there is any fun in that.
So I’ve been pondering lately the difference between pioneers and settlers. Hilarious seeing that I literally just said I have no interest in westerns, moving west or anything like that. Yet these two words have come to me over and over again and when that happens I have learned it must be time to ponder and see where these thoughts lead.
First of all, the basics:
- According to Mr Webster, it is a “person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for others”
- demands movement
- requires vision and insight
- contains an element of risk
- is often times a solo journey
- Webster states, “A person that fixes themselves definitely”
- is a stationary position
- has limited and definite boundaries
- has connotations of safety
- evokes a sense of community and family
Yes, that is how the west was won, with pioneers and settlers. But what does that have to do with me was the question that continued to plague my mind, even though the answer was glaring me in the face.
You see, I believe and know personally we are all created with a purpose, something uniquely us that we were wired and designed to complete and carry out. I believe the journey we call life is about fulfilling that purpose or at least making our best attempt. So why is it then, that so many find themselves in the place in life where they think they have no purpose or have lost their purpose? This brings me back to pioneers and settlers.
Where there is growth needed there is movement and change needed. That’s what happened with that movement west. People just wanted a little more elbow room and the only choice was to head toward the open spaces. You see we get those places in our life like that. We feel cramped, stifled, boxed-in, wishing and wondering for more. We talk about it, dream about it and maybe even write down a plan, but it is few that will walk it out.
Enter the emerging pioneer, the one who just cannot stay boxed-in, who can never color in the lines and dreams bigger and more audacious dreams than most can fathom. But it’s the pioneers that blaze that trail that the settler walks and puts the roots down in. And here was where by journey really began. Fear had made me a settler. Not that settlers are bad, they are definitely a needed part of the equation but faith called out the true pioneer spirit in me. One that had always been there and others could see, but I could never see. The thing that stirred passion so deep within me that I often could not even put words to it. The soil where my dreams were growing but had been confined by the fear and the opinions of others.
Funny how that works. I’m sure the pioneers of the west looked crazy, leaving all behind for something they dreamed of and hoped for. But oh how thankful those settlers were that came behind them!
Do you feel the rustle of the wind?
Does what’s ahead call your name?
Is there a dream, a journey, an uncharted place your heart is stirring for?
I get it and I get the fear, the “safe” voices, the doubts.
As I write this the stirring has begun again and, as God would be God, things have aligned for yet another left turn in my life from out of nowhere, a road appearing as if out of the fog yet now so very clear. A “road less traveled” as the poet penned, a space for the pioneer heart.
2018 brings with it no horses, no dusty trails and no outlaws lying in wait but it does bring with it a need for obedience, a heart that is full of faith and trust in a future much bigger than what I am or can do. With the click, click of the turn signal I make the turn and follow this road, one that seems to need a 4×4 not a sedan, and away I go.
I’ve heard it said that sometimes we just have to “do it scared” but I am changing that to we have to do it with expectation…of the good, the bad, the tough and the pleasant and the peaceful and yes sometimes scary but all the while knowing two truths: God is always good and He always wants my best.
Here my soul finds rest, in the assurance that I am loved, treasured and more than enough on a journey with the keeper of my heart and soul. Take the risk, make the turn and let the pioneer in you go…a wide open future awaits!
Blessings to your soulife…Dee