Just a thought: Living life like Linus without his blanket

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How do you think Linus feels when his blanket is in the washing machine?

His entire view of the world begins with his blanket. His comfort, his security, his “go to” for difficult times is taken from him. He has to experience a segment of his life lonely and scared.

It is a very insecure time for a young child when he has to experience life without his blanket.

Although we are all adults, each of us have a “blanket” we hold onto in our world. It provides predictability and stability. It is a constant in our lives that is always there. No matter how far we choose to wander, we can always return to our blanket. Life is easier to live just knowing the blanket can be picked up and cuddled (and we can even suck our thumbs if we want to).

Life is a tricky balance between thumb sucking and venturing out into the unknown. A print I had on my wall when I was growing up read, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were built for.” I think of this from time to time as I balance the security of staying in the harbor with the risks of traveling out into the unknown and unpredictable sea.

It is so easy to stay within our comfort zone and live day after day just holding tight to our blanket, looking out the window, and watching life go by. Why put the blanket down and walk out the front door? There are lions and tigers and bears out there. The sky might fall on you. What if you try something new and you fail? Our list of excuses is long. 

As long as you cling tight to your “blanket,” life is good. There is nothing life can throw at you that you can’t handle, not with you holding your blanket.

Sometimes the blanket we’re cuddling is taken from us. An event happens beyond our control and our security is gone. The washing machine eats the blanket and we’ll never get it back again. We cry for a while. Then we open our eyes big and scared to death about what will happen next.

We question why the blanket had to be taken away. We mourn over the lost blanket. We stop our lives, remembering the good old days when we just sat and clung to the blanket. We may even question if there is such a thing as life without it. Is life worth living knowing we will never hold the blanket again? Then we find a way to adapt, adjust, and to move forward.

Blankets hold significant value in each of our lives. Not the retail value, but the emotional value. There is really no financial value you can put on your blanket. Although it may simply be thrown in a dumpster by another, it’s priceless to you. There is an emotional bond. 

The world around you doesn’t stop. Life is happening as you read this column. And life will continue to happen after you finish reading. It will just keep coming at you. Whether you’re clinging tightly to your blanket or not, in your days ahead you’ll experience some exciting happenings and there will be events that are going to knock you flat on your back.

That is the color of life. There is a significant part of your life that you can’t control. You can prepare and seek to influence your future life, but you can’t control it. Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. You can’t control the 10 percent, only how you respond. But how you respond to what happens beyond your control becomes the story of your life.

The world out there is an exciting place. If you think you live in a boring world, it is you, not the world that is boring.

Maybe clinging to your blanket is giving you catlike attributes. You find a sunbeam and you stop, curl up into a ball, and sleep. Maybe holding your blanket causes you to self comfort, to suck your thumb. You ought not do this for long. God gave you two hands to do great things with. Tying one of them up by putting your thumb in your mouth is holding you back from what you need to be doing.

And we each have things we need to be doing that involve using everything God gave you.

Whether you voluntarily choose to set down your blanket or it has been taken from you, consider the fact that maybe your blanket is holding you back. I have never seen a hero fight a significant battle and conquer his foe while clinging tightly to his blanket. 

My challenge to you today is not to get rid of your blanket. The security it brings is not a bad thing. We all need a constant in our lives, something to hold onto on the roller coaster of life.

My challenge is to consider experiencing life without clutching onto your blanket 24/7. You cannot do great things unless you step outside your comfort zone from time to time. Ask yourself what you are failing to accomplish because you’re clinging to your blanket.

Consider putting the blanket down, walking out your front door, and taking a risk that does something that adds value to others. Maybe a risk that you may fail at. You will never be a success unless you fail regularly.

Come along side another who is in the valley of his or her life. Volunteer to help others in a position that you believe will be awkward for you. Carry a picket sign. Mend a broken relationship. Enter a storm that you can make a difference in. Live on the edge for a short spell. Your options are countless. But just do it!

To do great things and to make a difference in the lives of others you have to take your thumb out of your mouth, let go of your blanket, and step outside the security of your comfort zone.

Just a thought...

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