Sometimes you’re driving along, mind on a myriad of things you’ve got to do during the day, and something wicked this way comes. I’m not talking about the strange driving habits of drivers, women applying make-up, early risers grabbing breakfast, businessmen doing e-mail on iphones or blackberries, speed demons on crack or the slowest turtles on asphalt. I’m talking about images that stir your heart-strings, parents and siblings dropping their children off for school, elderly making an early day of it and driving into the city to shop, and gifts from God. You know them, the ones that jump out at you when you least expect it, like those who welcome stagnate drivers into the pack of traffic. And, I’m talking road kill. (Now if you’re a member of the Clampits, this would be a very pleasant gift indeed.)
It just so happens I'm not a Clampit. I passed skunks and raccoons today on the way to work, but had no such urge to stop and make Road Kill Stew. But what tugged my heartstrings was when I passed a deer lying dead in the median of the road, spread eagle on its stomach. Obviously, the doe had tried to cross the highway during the night or in the wee morning. Sadly, she only made it half-way across. So the obvious question I asked myself was why does a deer cross the road? This question may open up a truck load of jokes, but this poor deer got me to thinking. What was the deer after, better grass, water, bedding? Was the doe returning to her home from the wrong side of the road? Did she leave orphaned bambi’s in her wake? Better yet… what would life have been like had she not tried to cross?
Christine Glover blogged wonderfully about facing fear February 8th at: Digging Out of Distraction
Does the scenery change if we don’t look? Can our lives improve if we don’t make an effort? There are always things we can do to improve our lives. Self-help books cover bookstore shelves. How-to books and Idiot’s Guides supply the information society needs to tackle anything new/different. Do we dare ask ourselves whether we are we better off not learning?
Fear of growing, of stepping out and trying new things chains many of us to the basement. How do you break away from old habits? How do you summon the strength to move past something in your life that is holding you hostage? By simply confronting your fears head on. You might have the 'deer in the headlight look' at first, but given practice, you will become more nimble and better equiped to face every challenge.
I recently opened a fortune cookie that said, “Only the brave have fear.” This simple saying set me on a path of stepping out in faith. But even faith has its limits. What ifs have a tendency to carry the day. What if I don’t final in that contest? What if I get a rejection for this book I’ve poured my heart into? What if I never sell a book? And in keeping with Valentine’s month, what if I never find love again?
The answer is so simple it’s hard to see the truth. What if you never put yourself out there? How close will you be? What if you don’t try to get that luscious tall grass growing thickly on the meadow? You know the one you haven’t found a way to reach?
Will you sit down and salivate, dreaming of the rich texture of the grass within your teeth? Will you throw down paper and quill without taking a chance that someone, somewhere may ‘get it’ and enjoy the stories you write? You will never know unless you leap across the road or allow your stories to leap across the page. The only danger you have to fear is fear itself.
Channel the doe. Be nimble like a deer. Jump the road that blocks your path. Put fear in your rearview window. Fear has no control over you, over what you do or desire to do. Fear, in essence, is the car blocking your path, preventing you from reaching that 'thing' you want most in life.
What road have you been desperate to cross? Is there a ‘crick’ or a ‘creek’ in your way? Remember you can’t lead a horse to drink, but you can teach a horse to jump.