I was driving down the interstate the other day when I happened to look over and see this tiny bug (maybe 1/4″) clinging to my rearview mirror for everything he is worth. I have no idea how he managed to hang on all that time!
But it got me thinking…aren’t we all like that? Clinging to things and people and places that may not be good for us. Thinking that if we let go, we are letting go of life itself?
Recent events have shown me that we really need to learn to take risks earlier in every situation. Now, generally, we’re not talking about literal life and death risks, just figurative life and death risks. But all too often, we find ourselves holding onto things past the point that they are good for us.
We do it with people. We hang on to relationships far too long. Friends, lovers, family we know are toxic. We are so conditioned to be unaccepting of change. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid to be alone. We don’t like to sit with ourselves…sit with our pain and loneliness. So we stay in the misery. Someone told me once that pain hurts but it goes away. Misery lasts forever if you let it.
We do it with jobs and careers. We stay because we think it’s too risky to take a chance and change. We won’t make enough money, won’t be able to take care of our families. We may fail if we move into something new and different. That’s scary. We might succeed. That’s scary, too.
We do it with places. Oh, do we do it with places. We buy houses and put down roots and we don’t want to leave. I’m not saying that those things aren’t good things. 30 years ago, they were great things…the goal of most Americans. But today – today’s world is different. Better? That’s something we have to wrestle with individually. But it’s different. Things happen too fast and are far too unstable to stay put.
The bottom line, for me, is that there is no reason in the world today to stay where you are not content. You won’t always be happy. God didn’t promise us happy. People get where they are in life by making choices. People often stay where they are in life because they refuse to make a choice – nonaction becomes the default decision. If you are in a bad situation, change it. If you stay in a bad situation, that’s your choice. Complaining won’t help. Take careful, thought out action whenever possible. Sometimes, the best changes in my life were rash, though.
Now, who knows what would have happened to my bug on the mirror if he’d have let go? He might have landed on the nice, cushy spot by the window, protected from the wind and probably warmer. His fate may have been much worse. He’ll never know.
So it is with us…if we let go, we might land somewhere wonderful. Or, at least better for us. Thing is…the change is unlikely to be lethal for us and, if it doesn’t work, we can change again.
Maybe I’ll just move my feet around on the mirror a little – see if I fly off. What’s your plan?