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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Aim High, Young Man

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Once every seven days, our body, mind, and spirit need to unplug. This recharging of the batteries and reconnecting with our spiritual side was deemed to be so important that it ranked right up there as one of the Big Ten.

We were to honor and respect one day in order to keep it holy.

Holy, set apart, different from the mundane. Not mentioned very much these days.

The world at large tends to become uncomfortable when faced with the sacred. They prefer the secular. Hence the move toward frenetic activity every day of the week.

Pass by any sports field at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday and you will find adults sacrificing their children, who should be in synagogue or church, on the altar of Fun. If not sports, it will be on-demand birthday parties, play dates, or shopping excursions. We have lost sight of the holy. Those who honor their Creator are considered the fanatics, the ones outside the pale of popular culture.

Adults face similar challenges. For many, politics, yardwork, the fat Sunday newspaper and a croissant have become their religion. This is the day for a long, leisurely bikeride, a picnic in the park, a champagne brunch, or a football and chili get-together. God has been deleted out of the Daytimer, scratched from the schedule, cancelled from the calendar.

But it’s all a matter of choice, of priorities. Even the most Important News Programs (that happen to fall on Sunday mornings for some odd and sinister reason) can be recorded with TiVo.

Our family is fighting back. We are keeping it holy, not with horse and buggy, but with hearts and minds looking above. We are flying against the prevailing winds, and as any pilot knows, that’s the only way to get any lift.

Petya takes golf lessons on Wednesdays and has homework assignments each week. This time, he had to write his golfing goals in ascending order, the easiest being number one on the bottom, the more difficult being number five on the top.

Suprisingly, the hardest goals were the easiest to list. These were issues he tried to remember and implement each week. When he got down to number one, he paused to consider what could be so simple and so foundational as to be momentarily forgotten. There at the kitchen table, pencil in hand, he laughed aloud when he discovered it.

“Aim towards the hole!” he shouted.

“There you go.”

Putting pencil to his goalbook, he shortened the phrase to “Aim toward hole.”

When I checked the several pages of homework to make sure they were neat and fully completed, my eyes were drawn to this step so fundamental, and so simple, as to elude most.

It read, “Aim toward holy.”

I discussed the significance of his slip in spelling. Here was a child who was more familiar with holy than with “hole”.

On the goal ladder of life, right at the bottom, stands the foundation. There is no step lower that will ever take us higher.

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