3 min read
26 Jul

      I found myself traveling in a great forest full of awe and wonder at the nature around me. The trees were enormous and they blocked out the sun almost. The light flickered through the branches and leaves as the trees swayed in the wind. A gentle breeze followed me wherever I went as I walked along this untrodden path. I could see flowers, fruits and berries of all kinds glittering the forest. It was a beautiful sight to behold. It was also home to many animals small and large, friendly and dangerous. During the day it was safe to walk through, but at night you took refuge in those high branches that were out of reach for dangerous predators. I had been walking for hours it seemed, but time stopped in that forest. No matter how far I walked, I never was any closer to the end. I found myself walking in circles, a perpetual hypnosis had fallen over me. It was hard to notice at first, but the more I walked the more I found myself trapped in this forest stuck in the same loop.      

     Eventually nightfall came and I rushed to safety in the trees. The night was full of terrors, screams, and howling. How could something so beautiful in the day become so ugly at night? I pondered many things as I tried to fall asleep that night, but my fear bested me. I stayed awake out of fear that something might reach me, or I would fall. These were silly things that I know wouldn’t happen, but my brain refused to listen to reason. Finally, the morning sun rose and the night creatures scattered back to their holes, their caves, their dark recesses. I climbed back down to begin my journey again and found myself looping around once again. This continued for countless days and nights until I reached an unfamiliar tree one day. Up there in the branches was a large cocoon, and it looked empty to me. I didn’t know what sort of creature made this cocoon or if this was their home, but I decided to risk checking it out. I entered that cocoon and was overwhelmed by a feeling of home, a sense of safety. I thought to myself, I could stay here for the time being to rest my tired feet and exhausted mind.       

     However, the longer I stayed in that cocoon, the more I realized that the way out was closing up. Day by day the way out became smaller until I was trapped in that cocoon. The way out was gone, and I was left in the darkness. An aura of despair washed over me and I knew I was going to die alone in that cocoon.  I didn’t know how much time had passed while I was in the dark, but at some point, I accepted the despair and even befriended it. Like the cocoon, it wrapped me up in its darkness and trapped me there in my own mind. In that moment there was no hope, no life or death, no light. There was only darkness and despair for as long as I could remember. Eventually I laid down for the final time having expended my energy to force open that cocoon, and I waited to die. I awoke the next morning to a pecking sound and a light pierced through the darkness. It was so bright I had to shield my eyes, and then I saw this monstrosity of a bird pecking at the cocoon.  I had to assume this was the bird's home, and I was simply an intruder. I waited for the right moment to escape while avoiding being eaten by that bird. As I ran out onto the branch, the bird just looked at me with its head sideways then continued on its way.  Truth be told I must have smelled awfully rancid by that time and believed I wasn’t worth eating either. It's funny though isn't it, the moment I gave up is when the light was finally able to pierce through the darkness.      

     In the light of this discovery, I thought back to the feeling I had when I was trapped. That despair had swallowed me so quickly and quietly and I let it. Because what else was there to do in the darkness but let it envelop you? I pondered that question as I walked back through the forest and my heart sank at the truth of it. I had given up just before the miracle happened. In that moment I was desperate enough to see the miracle happen and let it consume me. How many times in life do we give up just before the light shines through? Is it because like me we become wrapped up in that despair, that hopelessness? Or could it be that giving up is our recognition that we can't do it alone. When I had finally left that forest behind, I felt free, and empowered. After having been stuck for so long, I was given a chance to be free so I was going to be grateful for my life.      

      I believe this, everyone talks about giving up as a bad thing. Sometimes giving up is exactly what we need to let our higher power work in our life. To finally move out of our own damn way and let God work. To say I'm done, I can't do this by myself anymore. When you are so desperate, you become willing to hear God once again. That cocoon much like my alcoholism had me so desperate to escape, but no way of escaping my circumstances. That was when God was finally able to work some glimpse of light back into my life, to give me hope again. We don’t have to be stuck in a loop like in that forest, and we don’t need to be trapped in a cocoon of despair to find hope. What we do need is a heart desperate enough to heal, to say enough is enough, I'm tired of this and I want to change. To ask for help, because we are worth being helped, we are worthy enough to heal, to change, to be better. No one should have to feel like I did in that cocoon, but we do because we allow our circumstances to shackle us. I want you to know there is hope, there is freedom and there is peace if you ask for it, if you look for it.   


Mack

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