We all face those times when it seems that life has us locked in a box. People are pretty sure we’re defeated and they’ve won – or lost – and that’s the be all and end all of the situation. I won’t deny that life’s trials do have an air of finality to them, but the good news is that it’s a false presumption. Things happen in our lives, people come and go, but until such time as the world ends, nothing is over. No matter how long things have been dormant, no matter how loudly that door slammed shut on you, there is always the potential for change. In fact, change is the one constant in the universe. We might not be comfortable with it, but it’s a truth that we can run but not hide from. Things that you thought were over can start back. Fights you thought were won can reignite. Things you thought had died can be resurrected. It is, in fact, a disturbing trend in life. We call it history repeating itself, but as a writer I choose to call it ironic plagiarism. Same story, different setting. And if we aren’t careful, we can make the same mistakes and keep falling into the same old traps, over and over, and put ourselves in a rut of stubborn refusal to accept that there’s something we need to rise to before it steals all hope from our lives.
There’s no excuse for this, folks. Yes, life has an annoying way of pinning us into corners. People have an aggravating habit of playing games and throwing around power and locking us into neat, tidy boxes tightly lidded with their own convenience. But, as it was so eloquently stated in The Avengers, as long as the sun continues to rise, we continue protect it. They were talking about the world, but in this case I believe it aptly applies to ourselves. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Unless you’re dead, you aren’t staying in that box. You will come out. The question is, what’s coming out of the box? Will it be something bigger and stronger, or weaker?
Herein lies the key. The times when we’re trapped are difficult and it’s easy to give in to anger, or to give up – but that’s exactly what the world wants. They know these things will weaken us and once that box opens, it will be something smaller and weaker that they can mold to their liking. I say don’t do that. Don’t just lie there, mourning or fuming over your trap. Grow, darn it! It might not feel like it, but the times when others are pretty sure that they have you locked up are golden opportunities to, as I like to say, become the bigger dragon. When they think you’re beat, they stop watching you. They get complacent. And that’s when you do the hard work to grow, to learn, to quietly become stronger and wiser, and to burst out of that box when the time is right for you to conquer. And then you will conquer, because they won’t understand how they could have created this creature that they don’t know how to fight anymore.
I know it’s not easy. I’m in one of those places right now, and it’s hard for me. I’m a fighter, so it’s difficult for me to zip it and quietly evolve so I can have the victory at the right time. And yet, it’s imperative that I exercise this patience and endure the pain of evolving into the bigger dragon if I want a victory that’s more lasting than the smoke and mirrors surrounding me. But I can do it. I know I can because with the Lord’s help, I’ve conquered before and I know I’m more than a conqueror still. These trials might look different, but they have a lot of sameness to me. Splinter was inspired by times like this, and if life keeps following such a predictable pace then I’ll never lack for inspiration while I walk this Earth, or faith to face whatever derivative of this mess life decides to recycle next.
Yes, there are a lot of people that think they have me defeated now – and they’re wrong. This isn’t over. Times of confusion and frustration are never the end; they're merely resistance to help you grow, if you handle it correctly. I will arise and be the bigger dragon, ready to take on what comes next and to seize the opportunities and blessings that will come of this mess. And as for the ones that trapped me here, well, I pray they open their eyes before those pesky little things they didn’t worry about grow into dragons of their own. Vengeance isn’t what they need to worry about. It’s the other little pests just like them that want to clear a path. Remember: snakes don’t just dine on smaller things, they eat one another too. And there’s always a bigger one out there looking for a feast to conquer.
As for the rest of us trying to do what’s right with pure motives, don’t just lie there. Become the bigger dragon. Evolve. Get ready. You’re gonna need it to break out of the box to get the blessings that comes out of this crap while the rest of the snakes battle for survival.
That’s all today. Take care and have a safe and happy 4th of July!