Clamoring Crabs–or Lobsters?

I wrote not long ago about some song lyrics from RENT and swore that I would continue that stream for a bit….I lied.

I was reminded not so long ago of a story about crabs…or lobsters…or crablike lobsters.  I can’t remember.  Forgive me, I just graduated and life has been a little hectic.  YES, that’s right!!!! I graduamatated!!!!!!  An MDIV in Pastoral Care and Counseling has my name on it!  I even passed with flying colors the last history class that I had to take and enrolled in midway through the semester.  BooYAH!

Anyway.  This story on crablike lobsters….a man happened upon a whole bucketful of the clawed crustaceans.  Another man came upon the bucket and wondered at the top being left off and questioned the first man about it.  He was concerned that the crabs would climb up out of the bucket, thus all the work to catch them being undone.

You would think that they would clamor to the top and rush to escape, wouldn’t you?  The wise fisherman replied that as one may start to the top, the others would sink their claws into the one escaping and pull them back in the bucket.  The first crab would never make it out, never escape because upsetting the status quo would be too costly to the whole.

AMAZING!!!!  I thought about that story today.  I thought about its application to human nature.  Amazing.  We are not so unlike our clawed crustaceans.  That saddens me.  It angers and disappoints me to my core.  It causes me to shake my head in dismay and question what I am doing.  I have to ask myself if I do that to another…do I do that to my children?  Are there people in my life that do the same to me?  I have to answer affirmative to all the questions.

There are many times that I have coveted another’s success or tried to talk them out of something because I did not want them to “get ahead”.  Albeit it was much earlier in my adulthood.  What I have failed to recognize are the moments that others have put me in that same situation and I have let them.  Moments when because of guilt or shame or fear I have left my dreams and hopes to the side and accepted their agenda.  Moments when I have stayed in the bucket because I am too scared of what the other side looks like to venture forth.  IF the crab understood that their freedom was on the other side of the bucket, they might tackle one another to get to the top.

Then again, maybe they wouldn’t.  Maybe that is the realization that strikes in my soul this evening.  Maybe they are so content with the status quo and what they know that they would not fight for freedom…that they would not fight to live.  All they can see, all they know is the reality in  front of them.  They ask not one question, challenge not one authority…dream no bigger than the next pot of boiling water.  Water that will not give them new life (aaahhhh there is a sermon in that)

Am i guilty of that?  Yes.  I am guilty of wanting to take the easy route, of wanting a nice neat packaged solution.  I yearn for that…I think we all do.  I also yearn to fly.

With all that I am, I yearn to step to the edge, stare it down, spread my wings, and let go.  I have wanted that since I knew to dream.  I entertain many a dream in this head of mine…most of the time I feel too ineffectual to see them through.  But, oh Lord, I wanna fly.  What’s more, I want the chance to let others fly too, in their way, on their own path.  I think that is why I became a teacher so many years ago…I loved watching the dawn of dreams in my kids’ eyes.  I still do.  I love to hear the stories and where people want to go…and am so often disheartened when I hear them give up the fight before they have even started.

So, yes.  I am guilty.  Maybe this story can motivate me, or someone else to think…to dream, to fight.  Not all fight has to be destructive, not all anger is dangerous…and freedom does not have to cost everything.  I think to not experience that freedom is more dangerous and costly than never entertaining it in the first place.

I am not sure what all this means, I know that I have more to write, but my head is full of other thoughts.  I will close for tonight…I entreat your ideas, your thoughts, your dreams.  Let’s help one another fight to the top and fly!!!!

Shalom dear ones,

cahl.

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