“We can’t imagine the freedom we find from the things we leave behind.” – Michael Card
I never wanted to be one of those guys who couldn’t leave high school. You know the ones I mean – the guys who graduated, but keep hangin’ around trying to relive the glory days. You see some of the same guys in college. It’s easy to get stuck in a phase of life, especially one that holds fond memories.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed a similar, but more frightening, trend in people that get stuck in lousy jobs, destructive relationships, and mediocre patterns of living. Why do they get stuck? Because it’s comfortable.
“These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.” – Red, Shawshank Redemption
Huh? That’s right, because it’s comfortable. They get used to what they know. Like the Shawshank prisoners, they become “institutionalized.” I recently left a situation that could easily have become an “institutional” one. One of the reasons I left was because I wanted to experience freedom. I wanted to avoid the comfort that becomes complacency and leads to slavery.
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.” – from “Already Gone” by the Eagles (Tempchin/Strandlund)
Honestly, I’d like to write a long blog post, full of wisdom beyond my years, but frankly, the solution many times is as simple as the lyric from “Already Gone” (above) – we just have to unlock the chains that bind us. Sadly, we often choose to forge our own chains. Why?
Because it’s comfortable. Isn’t it time to get a little uncomfortable?