So Reeds new favorite movie is Finding Nemo. And I could now quote the whole movie for y'all. But it has got me thinking. I hope this comes together and makes sense. If not bear with me, I swear I have a point.
Lately, I have seen the effects of the economy and the stress of life in general in everyone around me. Friends and coworkers facing bankruptcy, pay cuts, layoffs, etc. I too have faced some of these. I went over my 401K with my dad yesterday and begged him to advise me on what I needed to be doing. Its a tough call when the amount of money I put in last quarter was less than the amount I lost. He had no answers. No one does, and anyone who says they do are most likely trying to play on your desperation to scam you out of more money. It has been interesting to watch people as they react to the strain. People have become more and more cautious and some have become downright control freaks.
Through this, I have watched a coworker, who started off with the "control everything" attitude change to just giving it over. Letting it go. She is a Catholic woman who watched her whole controlled little world fall apart. A husbands poor business practices and lack of fidelity, unwise investments and just the economic climate in general left them with hundreds of thousands in debt, 2 houses worth far less than the mortgages drawn for them, and a family barely hanging together with 2 kids and 1 on the way. When it got to where she could take no more, in an act of pure desparation, she fell to her knees and finally looked to the only One with the answers. She then and there relinquished her tight grip on the course of her life and pled for the Lord to just help her to know what she should be doing and to help her through the storm that encircled her. She gave it to the Lord. She knew she couldn't do it anymore and she just gave it to Him. Her whole perspective on life has changed since that day. You can see the joy back in her life, she is healthy and resetting her priorities. She was offered a job with a 30,000 pay increase. She let go and things started falling into place.
Now, back to Nemo. As I said earlier, I have watched the movie about a million times. At least 4 times a week for the past couple months. And anytime Dori comes on Reed gets so excited and just laughs. But after about the first millionth time, I finally figured out what it was saying. See Nemos dad, spent his whole existance trying to control everything to keep his son safe, and it didn't work. And as he went out searching for Nemo after he is taken, his controlling ways and the things he thinks will get him to Nemo only work against him and keep him from his son. He spends a lot of the movie ignoring and trying to get rid of the one fish (Dori) that is actually helping him get to his son....mostly because he feels HE knows better. One of hardest parts for me to watch is when they are in the whale and Dori tells Marlin "Its time to let go." I swear everytime I hear that, I know it a message from someone trying to push me in the right direction. Of course his response is, "How do you know something bad wont happen?" Dori's response is simply, "I dont." And she lets go. Of course they are then shot back out into the ocean and are able to continue on their journey and eventually find Nemo. Its funny how all of Marlin's controlling made him unable to see the answers and the help that was swimming right next to him.
I guess for me the most striking parallel to our lives is the death grip we have on "control." But there are so many variables in life, the control is only an illusion. So my current goal is to be Dori. To start relinquishing my "psuedo-control" and my ideas on how things should be and stop worrying about all the "thats not fair" things in life and just take it to the Lord. My coworker did everything by the book, her investments, her marriage, etc. But there were things beyond her control. And while her first reaction was to become bitter and frustrated and lash out, she was quickly humbled and realized that she was wasting vital energy and time. She took it to the Lord and was blessed and guided because of it. See, the Lord can't guide you if you refuse to let go. He cant help if you don't have the faith enough in Him that you will recieve the guidance you need.
So, as we face the portent that is our current life and as we look to the future knowing that this is only the beginning of the storm, I hope that we all (myself included) remember to be a Dori and just keep swimming. That we let go of our death grip and just let the Lord steer for a while.