Life and lobsters

You can discover new oceans only when you are willing to lose sight of the shore. We fail to break new ground in life, explore new worlds or enjoy new and enriching experiences because we tend to get obsessed with a lot of things in life. Our obsessions can be with things, with people, power or status positions.

We refuse to move away from the little kingdoms or fortresses we keep building around us.  When we refuse to move away from these kingdoms and fortresses, we block ourselves from experiencing greater joy that life has to offer us. We fail to grow when we do not move away.

Look at the lobster. Lobsters have to periodically leave their shells in order to grow.  The shell is actually meant to protect them from being torn apart.  But ironically, when they grow, the old shell must be abandoned.  It they do not abandon it, the old shell would soon become their prison- and finally, their casket.

The interesting part for the lobster is the brief period of time between when the old shell is discarded and the new one is formed. During that terribly vulnerable period, the transition must be frightening to the lobster. Water currents toss them around while hungry schools of fish are ready to make them a part of their food chain. For a while at least, that old shell must look pretty good.

We must be like lobsters. To change, grow and enjoy life, me must sometimes shed our shells and move away. Detachment is no doubt painful and scary at times, but that experience is only momentary when compared to the limitless scope of joy that awaits us. Khalil Gibran says “don’t cling to that which clings to you”.

After all the size of our coffins are just about the size of our bodies.  There is no place for extra baggage. We leave our trophies and titles behind.  Jesus himself was born in a rented stable and at death laid in a borrowed tomb.

Jesus told a rich man seeking the way to heaven "Sell all you have and give the money to the poor – it will become treasure for you in heaven – and come, follow me" (Luke 18:18-27). To the disciples He taught detachment as a secret of joy when he said, “Foxes have their holes and the birds have their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). To Pontius Pilate He said “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). When He sent his disciples on a mission, he instructed them “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics…”(Luke 9:3).

If you are searching for joy; think about life.  Think about lobsters.

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