Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some Fights Aren't Worth It

I just saw (well at least saw in intermittent bursts between bathroom trips for Emma) a wonderful movie. A Dolphin Tale wasn't stellar storytelling or cinematography, but it certainly charmed me and has left me thinking for several days. To sum up, a rescued dolphin loses her tail but not her fighting spirit. She improvises and fashions a new sort of swimming, using a side to side motion. The problem is, that style of swimming is growing muscles that shouldn't be grown and begins to cause dangerous problems on her spinal cord. She has to start swimming differently or she'll die. To the rescue comes a cantankerous engineer who designs prosthetics for veterans. He works to create a tail for the dolphin that will help her swim the way she is designed to swim. She revolts.
The attach the tail and off she swims. Then she begins to thrash and whine and whack the fake tail to pieces on the side of the pool. No longer such a happy dolphin. It took several designs and a few good talking-tos, but she finally came around in a happy, dramatic fashion. It was a tale of determination and hope, but I came away with something else.
Instead I came away with this image of myself thrashing around trying desperately to shake off things in my life. I don't want to be a teacher. I don't want to have my kids in childcare. I don't want to have to change the way I eat. I don't want to live with my Mom anymore (she's wonderful, but I'm almost 34 after all) I don't want it! Thrash, thrash, kick, and scream. But where does that leave me? It leaves me swimming along in a way that will destroy me. It leaves me defiant and angry, but it doesn't change a thing.
I think it is safe to say I'm not the only person that has fought that fight. I've realized that there is not much I can change right now. I've got to finish the year of teaching. It just is what it is. So, I can fight and kick, or I can find a way to make it work. I don't want to stop eating cookies and brownies and anything else I want in copious amounts. But, the fact is, I've gained 30 pounds and have reached a number on the scale that hasn't stared back at me since I was pregnant. And pregnant I am not. So, if I want that to change, I have to change it. Kicking and screaming about it isn't going to change the physics that my body will not change if I don't do something. I cannot alter the laws of the universe that say how what I eat affects my body. Tantrums won't help.
Change doesn't often happen around us just because we want it to. Change happens within us when we are willing to. This is not the way I hope to live my life for the next twenty years. I can't change the financial circumstances of our lives right now. But, I know where I want to be and I can change what I am doing to get there. My dream? To write. I want to go back home to be with my kids and write and be a storyteller and help pay the bills that way. That is my dream. So, if I want it to happen, I have to do something besides whine about it.
So, I will write. Sure, I'm tired. Sure, I've got a whole lot going on. But, if I want the dream of an office where I pound out essays and stories and look out a window at a lovely field. I've got to be willing to squeeze in as much reading and writing as I can.
And thing two? A Body of Light doesn't come easy. Discipleship has its price, and becoming a person of purity, submission, and self control is going to ask something of me. It will take awhile, but I know that I can and must make some profound changes in how I eat, how I think about eating, and how I think about myself eating if I want to get my body back and feel strong again.
I'll be around more. I am going to try my darndest to write every day. Stories, perhaps poems, maybe even jot down this script idea I have in my head. But, it is time for me to stop fighting and thrashing around expecting things to change. I'll accept it and swim. And I think I'll be better for it.

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