Knots In Your Rope


We arrived home safely last night after a week in the Outer Banks. In case you missed it, I covered why this trip was important (HERE). I also gave a mid-week update of some of the not-so-brilliant moments (HERE). It was an incredible week on so many levels. I once again was reminded who I am on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (AKA – Gods Country).

My wife is a runner and I jog at a pace just a tick above walking so we typically map our various mileage routes when we arrive in OBX. One route we mapped out had a series of inclines and seemed to be a challenging 6 miler. I let my friend “D-Rich” somehow talk me into coming out of race retirement and sign up for a quarter marathon in August so I set a goal to get said challenging 6 miler before we left OBX. Saturday morning came calling and I always try to achieve goals I set. When I pushed off and hit my watch, I decided to take the 6 miles and compartmentalize all that had taken place on our week away. Immediately, my useless knowledge kicked in and this quote came to mind:

“Y’all come up here about the same time with the same problems. You spend 50 weeks a year getting knots in your rope and you think 2 weeks up here will untie them for you. None of you get it.”

-Curly (City Slickers)

Sure enough, old Curly was right. The only exception is I usually take 51 weeks a year to get knots in my rope. Then I spend a week in OBX thinking it will untie them for me. As I pounded away at the pavement, I kept wondering how a week off the grid somehow will solve all of the problems of the other 51 week mundane. Had I somehow found the magic I was seeking when we arrived 6 days earlier? Was there an “ah-ha moment” that I would now take home with me for the year ahead? If so, what was it?

“None of you get it”

If you’re familiar with the movie, Curly goes on to deliver his “One Thing” speech and it’s brilliant.

There is so much truth in such a silly little movie clip. Honestly.

While we were on our vacation, a good friend sent me a text asking for some advice. I called him a bit later and we discussed a decision that was weighing on his mind. As I ran those miles, I couldn’t help but think I shared my one thing with him without even realizing it. Our week away didn’t help me discover my one thing, it removed the distractions so I could focus on it much more clearly. It’s like his text and call were that ah-ha moment for me without flashes of lightning and rolls of thunder.

So what is that one thing?

What I told my friend is that he must decide on the hills that he is willing to die on. In other words, he must decide those things that are the non-negotiable things in his life. Everything else will fall into place and be viewed through this lens. They are the one thing. You figure that out and everything else just doesn’t matter.

Getting knots in your rope 50 or 51 weeks a year can’t be solved with a week or two away. It can’t and won’t untie them for you. Knowing your one thing and the hills that you will die on help keep from ever getting knots in your rope in the first place.

What are the hills that you are willing to die on?

What is your one thing?

It’s probably obvious by now, but these four are just one of mine. Every. Single. Time.



3 thoughts on “Knots In Your Rope

  1. I love these getaways and what they can do for our spirit. It’s quite simple really. If you cut out some of the noise and tune in to Him, you may not hear a audible voice, but you will feel a direction or a directive. Before you left, I told you to tune into His strongest signal. I hope you did. And I hope you received. Love you, brother!

    1. Yes you did and yes I did. Had me some church up in OBX a few times. Interestingly enough, it generally came on those runs when I was completely depleted and unable to argue. Amazing how that happens. It was much needed and absolutely refreshing. Thanks for the advice and for walking the journey with me my friend.

  2. Really Appreciated What You Wrote Here Aaron. I Definitely Know What Hills I Am Willing To Die On!! That Hill Is Nothing More Than My Son And My Relationship To God, & My Sobriety. Anyone Or Anything Gets In The Way Of Those Things Then IT Probably Won’t Be Pretty!!
    I’m Glad That You Got The Time To Get Away And Go THAT PLACE, Where You Can Definitely Be Who You Are Meant To Be And Hear From God Those Things That Are Important..The Ones That Really Matter!! 🙂 Now To Just Find That Time EVERY WEEK Where You Can Spend That One On One Time With Each Of Your Kids, And That Date Night Or Date Time That Is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT To The Very Reason Why You Wrote This Particular Part Of Your Blog..”The Hills Which You Are Willing To Die On” 🙂 Thanks Again For Another Great Perspective On Life!!

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