Thursday, June 23, 2011

Familiarity breeds Commitment

Ecclesiastes 11:4
"He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap."

I have a teddy bear. His name is Ducky, and out of all of the millions of things that I own, from every paper clip to the large flat screen television that I needed someone else to put on my wall, he is my greatest possession. He is the kind of bear who has been there through broken hearts, through death, through scary nights and the kind of days when getting out of bed was a big mistake. He is also the kind of bear that has been there to see me through camps and retreats, through college graduation, through lazy summer days and cold winters when you can't get outside. Ducky is not just a yellow pattern stuffed with cotton and stitched with thread. He is a physical embodiment of love. 

I received Ducky shortly after losing my best  friend, who was also my first boyfriend, when  I was sixteen. One of my friends since childhood gave him to my for my birthday. Never the sentimental type, even she did not understand why she bought him. "I just thought you'd like him," she said. Her nickname was Ducky- the bear was yellow... you do the math. He replaced an earlier teddy bear, who was a gift from that boy.

Ducky is, as I said, one of the most important things that I have ever had in my life. He is also a simplified example of a much bigger truth- we find comfort in things that have been around for a long time. We like the feel of our baby blankets, our childhood movies and books, anything that reminds us of a simpler time. I have warm memories associated with (insert your own crutch here), therefore, I will rely on that to get me through (insert whatever is going on in your life here). 

Now this can be a great thing. Every now and then we need something to fall back on that is normal and comforting. But what happens what it's the wrong things? Or worse... what happens when it's a person? After all, isn't it strange how consistent it is that guys will call up the same ex-girl(friend?) every 2 weeks after he breaks up with someone? Isn't it strange that we girls could mark our calendars by that day every month when we miss our first love that just couldn't be? We are desperate to remember a time when we were something else, someone else, who believed in miracles and second chances and that things in life were just always on an upward turn.

The boy that ducky replaced is no longer in my life. There have been others in my life since, some who have been growing experiences, other's that have been all wrong, and one that I have tried to hold onto. But even that one needed to eventually fall away- we cannot spend our lives stuck in the past that couldn't be. 

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon laments all the time that he wasted in his life. He regrets all the decisions and choices he made. He realizes that a life of joy is a life of doing, and that comfort doesn't come with us when we die. He knew what so many of us are still trying to figure out. 

I'm going to have to let go of those people who I once loved, and those memories that keep my heart static and afraid to move on. I'm going to have to stop finding comfort in the regularity of "my" room with "my" stuff, with "my" job, and all the rest that makes up my comfort zone. I want to be willing to go wherever He wants me and be tied down to nothing, to no memories, to no past people.

Although in reality, no matter where I go, I'm taking Ducky.

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