Finally, Dorothy and her traveling companions come out of the dark forest. The sun is shining, the air is clear, and the field before them is filled with colorful flowers swaying in the wind. When they come over the hill, they see it! The Emerald City! Gleaming on the hill against the bright blue sky. Dorothy has dreamed about this place and she has pushed hard to get there. The end is finally in sight!
Eager to complete their journey, the travelers joyously pick up the pace. Then something happens. The Wicked Witch of the West casts a spell and they begin to tire. Their long journey catches up with them, and all they want to do is to stop and take a nap. They feel they can afford to take a break, because they’re so close.
They’re so close…yet so far.
The Scarecrow, unaffected by the witch’s spell, knows they are in danger. He instinctively knows if they stop now they will never reach their destination. So he tries to keep them awake and urge them on, but one by one his companions begin to fall asleep.
Then, when all seems lost, Glenda the Good Witch of the East, initiates something very unexpected. In the middle of a spring-like day, snow begins to fall on Dorothy and her friends. This out-of-the-blue event revives the travelers and they rise to finish their journey.
After facing your “lion,” things can seem a little lighter and brighter, as if the dark perils of the journey are now behind you. After all, you have made some good progress and gained some great traveling companions. With the end in sight, you are ready to finish this thing up.
Then, the long and difficult trip starts to catch up with you. You start to feel fatigued and you begin to think, “Why not take a little break? After all, I’m closer than I’ve ever been. I can see the destination from here. Why not rest a little?”
When this happens, you are in danger of being lulled to sleep. The thought of settling for “close enough” will anesthetize you. Yes, you are closer than you have ever been, but you are not there yet. You are stuck between where you have been and where you could be, and if you stop you could stay stuck for a very long time.
Don’t get me wrong. It is important to pace yourself, but pacing yourself does not mean stop.
This is where you need encouragement to keep moving forward. This may come from those further down the road than you. It may come when something completely unexpected (like cold snow on a warm spring day) hits you and reminds you that all is still not well. Whatever it is, don’t let the desire for a temporary respite keep you from reaching your goal. You’re not there until you’re there.