Summertime in Florida means inundation with creepy crawlies. Everything I did Saturday involved interactions with some sort of unwelcomed creature. I walked on the porch to get ice out of the freezer and spooked an ancestor of a dinosaur. All I saw was a tail that was way too long for anything I wanted under my freezer.
Then as I was working in the new house, I heard baby rats. They sounded like cute little doves cooing, but there is nothing cute about rats living in the house.
Once we finished working inside, my husband and I planed lumber in the woodshed. Giant-make-your-skin-crawl roaches were leaping from the boards as I inserted them into the planer. Huge spiders appeared out of holes they shouldn’t fit in as they approached the roaring planer head. Oh, and I can’t forget the scorpion that jumped off one of the boards and landed on my shin making me do the creepy critter dance.
Halfway through the stack of lumber we took a break. After resting about fifteen minutes, we decided to get back to work before our backsides grew roots in the rocking chairs. As I rounded the corner to the shop, propped on the next board to be planed was a very large, somewhat intimidating, blue skink posed and frozen, staring me down. I took a step closer and he puffed up at me.
After another minute of stare down, I bravely stepped forward and swatted my hands, “Not today, lizard! Not, today!” He got the message and leaped out of the back window, disappearing into the leaves. Carefully I shook the board to make sure he was truly gone, and we got back to our original task.
What I realized about all these creepy crawlies is that they may be there to start with, but they don’t have to stay. I have the power to make them leave. If I don’t want roaches, I run them off. If I don’t want lizards, I shoo them away. If I don’t want spiders, I strongly persuade them to vacate my immediate presence.
The same is true in our lives. If there is something unhealthy in my life, no matter how long it’s been there, I can get it out. If there is a relationship that isn’t okay, I can stop maintaining it or establish needed boundaries. If someone is treating me poorly, I can stop putting myself in that spot. I don’t have to keep the creepy crawlies in my life and work around them; I can tell them to leave.
Let’s examine our lives this week and once we identify some areas that need to be addressed, boldly stare the issue down and confidently proclaim, “Not today, Lizard. Not today!”