My mother had a recurring comment when I was doing things, especially during my university days, that were beyond her comfort limit; “If you choose to play around mud puddles at some point you are going to get mud on you.”
I recently realized that I have watched good friends indulging in life beyond my comfort zone. As much as I respect each as an adult, I do worry. I believe in the cliché; friends do not let friends do certain things. In the recent cases, there were no cars, or dangerous equipment involved, so the challenge did not immediate involve the health and safety of others. The question that remains is how to remind others as well as myself of the mud puddles in our lives.
Life keeps reminding me of the following.
One needs to see and acknowledge that mud puddles are nearby. At times a reporter’s story would include the observation that “He dressed up in curses like a fine suit of clothes; he drank curses, took his baths in curses.” (Psalm 109.18) To reach for anything better one must start from where one finds one’s self.
One must have a desire to change. The role others in one’s life can play include helping, supporting, and nurturing. One they cannot do is decide and live one’s life. As much as one might want to give up control, or another take, in the end, the responsibility for a better life is one that must come from within.
Each moment is an opportunity to be intentional. The answer is not always movement. At times silence, quietness, and waiting is the best thing we can do for our heart, soul, and mind. I hear a call to be full present in the moment at hand. It is a time and place where one can choose to move away from the mud puddles in life and take a step towards something better.
Not all mud puddles are bad. Knowing which ones to avoid and which ones to revel in is a decision for one’s heart and mind.