(image courtesy of google images)
The other day I was driving behind an SUV shedding ice chips. Ok, really, it was as if the SUV had just hit an iceberg and it had pieces flying off. I was having a blast discovering what kind of handling my vehicle had during a snowy evening.
Anyway, as I was switching lanes, slowing down, braking, dodging, and any other maneuver I could legally do, I started thinking. Dodging the shrapnel was intense and made me think I was a great stunt driver.
Sometimes we run into people like this SUV, especially people who are trying to figure out their relationship with Jesus. There are shells covering the pain or past that an individual has experienced. When they come to a breaking point, pieces start to fly.
Often times, we find ourselves in the path of the pieces. Their shell starts to break and we have to maneuver through the flying shrapnel. It is difficult.
When this occurs we make several decisions behind the “SUV”. We can change directions, if we can find an exit that we can take quickly; we might brake abruptly and keep our distance in order to avoid being hit; or we stay close and just hope that the pieces don’t do too much damage.
We have to be smart on our decision making. Some people need us to be willing to risk our distance and remain close. Others call for us to brake and step back and allow the pieces to come off before we get closer. Finally, we need to be wise enough to know when we need to leave them completely and find a safer route.
It is hard to discern when we should take one of these steps, but it is essential to search. Pain is a part of life. People willing to work through it will have the shrapnel, but it won’t be too hard to work through. The person who is trying to work through it, but keeps drawing you in to the hurt instead of working through the hurt with you, may require you to brake off and keep some distance. Finally, the person who piles their pain on you and doesn’t want to get help or work it out, but expects you to keep helping or being piled on, is screaming for you to take an exit.
Be aware of your situation. Be aware of the individuals in your life that are draining you, but also those who need you to be patient.
Ultimately, while you’re driving in life, you need to be safe and gingerly maneuver through the hurt of others and be ready to make the necessary steps to keep moving forward.
QUESTION: How have you handled taking on too much “shrapnel” from another person?