Saturday, December 29, 2012


Two days ago I was driving along a highway when a piece of foam flew from the bed of a pickup truck into the air. This was, at some point, raw material for a sofa cushion. Now it was an unidentified flying object, but only until it was a few feet away and I could tell it was a harmless piece of foam. Even though I could tell what it was, and even though I could tell that it could not harm me, I still flinched when it flew in front of my windshield. I still closed my eyes waiting for the strike.

This made me think of the times in our lives we flinch when something that can't hurt us flies towards us. The piece of foam could be a conversation with your kid's teacher, a visit from an out of town relative or a change in the interest rate. The flinching can be, too, at good things that come our way such as an unexpected promotion at work, a sudden love interest or an answered prayer. We fear, we stress and we worry even though we will not be hurt. It's anticipation and it keeps us from enjoying life and from thinking clearly.

We close our eyes in fear of outcomes that can't hurt us. Some outcomes may require us to shift our behavior or to make adjustments. But that is what we are equipped for. We know life is not an arrival, it's a constant traveling and flying objects will hurl at us. The trick is not to attach ourselves to a specific end, adapting to the changes and putting events into perspective. The challenge is to keep our eyes open and know within that we can't be hurt by certain incidents in life, but we can receive them, resolve them and grow.

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