Some days, life feels like the Roadrunner, smarter and faster than us. Quietly mocking our inability to catch up to it and feast upon it, no matter how many Acme products we use.
It feels like we are hanging over the edge of a cliff, tenuously clinging to the branch of a tree that is slipping through our fingers as we wait for the inevitable Wile E. Coyote moment where gravity is suspended for only a second before taking its effect by hurtling us to the bottom of the canyon.
When circumstances pile up against us ominously, it becomes hard to even consider the word THRIVE. We would rather hunker down, put our game face on, and just “get through it.” This is where we make our first mistake.
Thriving is not only for seasons where we are Bugs Bunny and life is Elmer Fudd
In those Duck Season – Wabbit Season moments, we can do very well on our wits alone. We don’t need strategies, because life is good. It is when life takes the birdseed we put in the middle of the road and runs away, sticking its tongue out in mockery, when we need a plan.
How Can We Plan For The Unexpected in Life?
To a certain degree, we can’t. Nobody can prepare for a child to die in a car accident. There is no way to be ready for the home you lease to go into foreclosure because your landlord never paid the mortgage with your rent money. Indeed, if we spent all day thinking about and planning for all the things that COULD go wrong, we will begin to resemble Eeyore. Nobody wants to be Eeyore.
Yet there are steps we can take to prepare ourselves for the unthinkable:
Put simply, margin is the space between what we need and what we have. We need to have space in every area of our lives – schedules, finances, character. If we live on the outer edge of what we need, with no margin for error, the smallest hiccup will push us over the edge.
For more details on the idea of margin, listen to this recent series by Marty Kaiser at Reveal Vineyard.
Take an inventory: Do you have margin in your life?
I am not suggesting we all don the cynic’s hat. There are enough negative voices out there, we don’t need any more. But it might be appropriate to change our paradigm. Circumstances won’t always magically right themselves in our favor.
If something less-than-awesome seems imminent, we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to plan for it to happen. If we wonder if our job will still exist in six months, it would be prudent to update our resume and reconnect with our contacts in our industry. Let’s stop acting surprised when somewhat foreseeable things happen.
Outside of God, we cannot thrive, whether it’s a Bugs Bunny season or we are playing the part of Wile E. Coyote. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing – seems like sound advice.
When the road is smooth, we can pray in a spirit of thanksgiving and ask God to give us wisdom during the blessings. When the bottom falls out, we can pray for the presence of God to overwhelm us despite the circumstances. When life whimpers “meh,” we can ask God to shake us awake.
Perhaps your mind is strangely empty when you go to pray, and you have no words to say to God. There are prayer books to support us in our weakness. The Jewish Sidder is chock full of prayers for every occasion. So is the Common Book of Prayer.
Even when we do all of these, we may still feel like Wile E. Coyote. But we can play the part knowing that, even when we fall to the bottom of the canyon, we will arise from the plume of smoke to chase life another day.
Such practical advice here Chris! Love the analogy comparing life to Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote. It IS wise to prepare for things that more likely than not, will become reality. Thankful for the opportunity to pray and follow the Lord’s leading. God bless~
Thanks for chiming in. I just couldn’t get past the image of having Acme products in a Google world, you know?
I am learning though that we have greater tools at our disposal than we generally realize. For most of us, most of the time, bad surprises are more a result of us mimicking an ostrich than anything else.
Great post here, a bit of humour but really practical advice making some important points. Thanks for sharing this my friend.
I was hoping the silly wouldn’t outweigh the advice. Thanks for the encouragement, James
No problem! 🙂
love it! I live for silly . . . because life gets so boring without it.
You have a point. If I might modify an oft-quoted phrase, I believe “Silly makes the world go ’round.”
Chris, I just LOVE the way your brain works!))
Thanks Valorie. It takes an uncommon mind (or a cracked one perhaps) to connect Wile E. and a daily life of a human, huh?
I always loved how Roadrunner was so unaffected by Wile E. I like your post, Chris. Great advice to prepare for the unthinkable, even in the middle of a Wabbit Season. Also, I like seeing the word Wabbit spelled out. It makes me smile. 🙂
I giggled a little when I typed it. Hard not to think of the Daffy Duck / Bugs Bunny cartoon just seeing that one word. I am learning how to prep for the seemingly unthinkable right now in certain ways myself.
It takes the best kind! It’s writers like you who inspire aspiring.wanna.be.but.stuck.in.scaredy.pants.land writers like me….. to JUST BE WHO I AM!))
Push through that fear Valorie — folks want to hear what you have to say. Especially the messy parts, because there are already enough people sharing their highlights.
As much as I don’t want to even think about the unthinkable, I know your words are wise.
Well again, there is a balance between seeing “the writing on the wall” when it’s there, and worrying about everything. It’s in the middle that we find peace, honestly
Love this one, Chris. And I do live on the edge. It’s familiar though uncomfortable. I would love more margins. Thanks for pointing out the why to some of our feelings. Great post.
I never thought of myself as Wile E. Coyote, but that is me, right there. Always getting run over. But it helps to be able to laugh about it, alot. And I really, really appreciate the suggestion to build margin into life. Without margin, we become humorless, mean, and stingy, so fast and so completely.
Thank you for the encouragement. You know. I have been pretty close to the edge of late too.
Do you at least have stock in Acme Products? 🙂
I am learning how to find margin, but it’s so tough when life feels as though it continues to move faster and faster.
I’ll pray for you.