Have you ever walked a big, energetic dog? The kind that seemingly has the strength to pull an 18-wheeler? Only you are the one holding on to the leash and the dog is pulling you all over the place. When you are done, it would be factually correct to say you took the dog for a walk. But honestly, who was in control?
So many times in our lives, we find ourselves going about our daily routines and rituals thinking we are calling all the shots. But work schedules, and kids’ after school activities, and parents’ getting sick, and scraping together enough money to pay that bill come along and we are just being along behind the large dog that we can barely keep up with.
It’s exhausting when something else is in control. And let’s face it: we make our decisions, we make our choices, and we know there are consequences. I knew when my kids said at the beginning of the school year they wanted to be involved in choir, theater, service clubs, athletics, youth group activities, debate, and still be in the top 10% of their class that we were going to be exhausted all school year long.
So what’s the point?
Be they good or bad, we often make choices to participate in activities that carry certain repercussions. We often make choices that lead to something pulling us along the way.
I made a decision one day thinking I would be in total control. I would be fine. I could handle it (this particular thought developed into “I can stop at any time”).
It is not challenging for me to admit that my life is at times spinning out of control. The question I have to ask is if I am going to do anything about it. I know when I am in over my head. I know when I am too busy. I know when I am spiraling out of control. Today, that usually means I drink another cup of coffee and keep on going. Not so long ago, that meant I kept drinking something else.
But even then, I knew. I knew I was not in control. I knew the consequences of my decisions were leading me around like a big, active dog pulling me by the leash. So I was faced with a choice: I needed to decide if I was going to let go of the leash or not.
I held on to that leash for a long time. I knew I needed to let go. I just didn’t want to. But finally, I did. Finally, I realized I didn’t want to be pulled along by something else.
So I came to my senses and let go.