My cat got a plastic bag wrapped around her back paw. I did not witness the initial encounter, but I got to see the aftermath. She had never been fond of plastic bags. The sound of one rattling would send her scurring from the room. Having a plastic bag chase her had turned her into a maniac.
The first lap around the house had her dodging chairs – or almost dodging them – under the table. She managed to knock a couple out of their spots. Her next lap . . . let me ask you if you remember the cartoons where the cat or mouse would run up the wall and then back down again in a kind of arc? Get that image in your mind. Her next lap she ran up the kitchen wall and back down again.
It was time to take drastic action. I dove on top of that cat – took the bite she offered for my assistance – and released her from the clutches of the mean, ole, plastic bag. Once her panic subsided, I think she recognized my bravery. For the rest of her life she watched out for me and loved me the most.
I think I have been that cat these last several months. I have a fear that has gripped me so tight it has kept me running in laps around the house. Sometimes I feel like I am climbing a mountain – making that progress – but when I run back down I recognize that it was merely one of the walls of the box I have become trapped in because of my choices (or lack of choices).
Standing my ground and stepping out in faith is never easy. Hearing the rattle of that ‘plastic bag’ makes it even more difficult to focus. But it is just a bag. It has no control over my life. It will not make the difference.
I am the difference in my life.
My Tips for Making a Difference
- Do it now. The longer I wait to do what I know I need to do, the easier it is for me to talk myself into waiting. Before I know it, the day is gone and now I am too tired to do it. I just need to get some rest and then I will be ready, willing and eager to take it on. But there is never enough rest and I will keep finding the reasons or excuses to wait. When I think about it, I have to do it (or even sooner when possible).
- Do it again. Once is not enough. I have to do what I know to do and then I have to do it again. It is in the again that the real difference can be made. There will be a reason to quit. The results may not come fast enough to keep me going. I have to make the extra effort to keep going anyway.
- Do it over the long term. Today may not make the difference. Tomorrow may not make the difference. A bunch of days piled up on top of each other WILL make a difference.
Running for the sake of running can no longer be an option. I have to make my movements intentional if I want my movements to lead me somewhere.
Are you running up walls or running to the finish line?