Last week I noticed our cat playing a favorite game of hers. She spies something—perhaps a fly or piece of string or bit of fuzz—and then sneaks up and tries to pounce on it. If she succeeds in catching it in her paws, she’ll eventually open them and take a swipe at her target.
Now sometimes—like when it’s a fly—her target will move around, trying to get away. But other times—like when it’s a piece of string or paper—it’s unable to move on its own. In these cases, she doesn’t “need” to swipe at it at all. Yet she still does, and so off it goes across the floor. And she’s right behind it, preparing to pounce on it again and restart the whole cycle.
When I saw her doing this last week, I found it amusing. She was trying to catch a feather that was only moving because she kept swiping at it. And on that occasion, she kept “chasing” it for well over half an hour.
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In life, we too may find ourselves continually on the chase due to various reasons. Sometimes, we’re constantly on the move because we think if we catch whatever we’re chasing, it will bring us fulfillment. And when it doesn’t deliver what we envision, we find something else to chase, convinced that this time things will be different.
Other times, though, we may be moving, but it’s not about catching something. Rather, it’s about the movement itself. We want to continue to grow and improve, and so we choose to keep stretching ourselves. Unlike the other kind of chase, we have no illusions of reaching a finish line. Rather, we’ve learned to find pleasure in the process.