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.

To be or not to Be….

So, the major fundraiser on which I was working as part of a team is over.  It went smashingly.  All the work and collaboration coming together toward a common goal, it was amazing to see.  It was more amazing to watch people as they enjoyed themselves at the event, the energy was palpable.  I had mixed feelings, wanting to see more people there and more cash flow coming in, but one of my challenges is to find the joy in the moment and relish it for what it is.  Ah, the standards I possess.

One item has become clear, above all the titles that I may hold or have held over the years, the overwhelming call that rises to the surface is that of communicator.  If I look at the Strength Finders assessment, I find that WACA fits….Woo, Activator, Communicator, Adapter.  We always knew I was WAC~  As I work with Community Development, it makes sense for me to embrace this idea of Communicator above all.  All the others flow logically into it.  A good communicator can take any message, dream, call, and tailor it for the people that need and want to hear it.  It does not matter if it is written or verbal.  I am grateful to have been trained and gifted in both.  I have spent years searching for the “perfect” title to describe my existence…Eclectic?  Maybe.  Nah.  I am a communicator.

Even if I chose to be a certified Spiritual Director and Chaplain, I still communicate.  I have the privilege to convey a message of hope and forgiveness that we all need to embrace.  I found that marketing and connections proved important in this endeavor and I found them easy fits for me.  Who knew that I would be putting these to work, marketing, months before I graduate with my MDIV.  The truth is, there is ONE that knew the entire time.  There is a sense of liberation that comes in this understanding.  Maybe I do not have to search for the consummate title that will encompass my existence, much less justify it.  Maybe I can be comfortable with effectively communicating the stories I have been given from others, or from my experience to help someone else.

The height of the night for me was not counting the spoils, or taking the pics.  It was the food, although that was WONDERFUL….part of the joy was sitting back and watching people enjoy themselves…hearing the laughter from people who love each other and the mission we represent.  I truly love the team that I work with day in and day out.  My boss and our other comrade are top notch people and I love them like family. We fight, laugh, tease, argue, argue, laugh, work, and love–hard.  Whatever we are doing, we do hard and committed.  We have shared dreams, goals, hurts, frustrations, tears, giggles, laughter, and more dreams.  We have each other’s back and that is worth more than anything in this fear-laden society where one has to be on constant guard.  We do not fear with one another, we do not fear the board we serve..we love them–dearly.  I wish I could adequately communicate how much we would do for them and how honored we are to partner with our board.  Aside from the monetary finances, (which will come–we hope), we are a gifted staff, with people and connections that build us as people and as an organization.

I know this is a more boring blog than what I normally write, and I have not commented in quite awhile.  Grant me some lee-way and I shall continue my writing.  For those interested, I am on chapter 3 of the book, and feel new compunction to complete this project.  I also sold 2 framed pictures recently…more than the pictures, was the story that went with them–that is worth more than the $ amount they brought.

A sidenote, telling those stories, bringing people together, and remunerating the mission of what we are doing was the best part of my night.  I felt alive, I felt real, I felt like me…hand me a chance to talk with people and convey a message and I am the happiest camper.  Now, how doth one receive payment for something like that?  Does one receive payment for that????

Blessings in all your communications, may they impact you to the core! 

SHALOM,

cahl.

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