An ancient proverb says, “When the will is ready the feet are light.” From this I learned a lesson that I don’t need to force every issue. Nothing good will come out of meddling. Some things are better left unaddressed.
I was rough on my toys as a child. It always amazed me to see the damage that could be done by simply whacking something against a wall repeatedly. One day I decided to be a healer, so I set up a little hospital for all the poor creatures who had suffered because of my tantrums. Toy cars, Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, and even games were lined up in two neat rows across my bedroom floor.
I tended to each one but as hard as I tried, I kept failing in my quest to make them better. “Why won’t your eye stay on?!” I would scream. “Why won’t this stupid tire go back in?!” You’re going to go in straight this time, you stupid arm!”
I learned two things that day. I was never going to be a doctor, and I needed help for my rage issues. One thing I hadn’t quite learned yet was patience.
Eventually I became a nice person and made friends…real human ones. But there were times when I disagreed with one of them. I thought I was right and stated my case in what I believed to be a civilized manner. Quiet disagreements turned into loud arguments.
I tried to repair the damage to the friendship. I didn’t ask my friend to lie down on a fake hospital bed, but I tried to heal the rift nonetheless. It seems the more I tried, the worse things got. I thought to myself, where there’s a will there’s a way. I can do this, even if I have to force the issue. But it was no use. The friendship road ended, and I caused irreparable damage.
From this experience, I learned that I would not make a very good lawyer, but at that age, I still didn’t grasp what was really important.
I’m a grown woman now, and I have a daughter. She’s in third grade. The other day she came home from school complaining about two girls in her class. She said they were mean to her after she brought her stuffed animal Snowie to class to “help out” with a report.
My first instinct was to jump in and fix this issue for her. I know what to say. I know I’m right. But then I thought, no. That would be forcing the issue. That would be taking a step that didn’t need to be taken. There’s nothing for me to fix. I’ll let her handle it her own way. So I just listened, and then we made cookies.
Sure enough, she came home the next day with one of the girls and asked if they could watch a movie together. I was happy to say yes, and am even happier to report that they got along very well the whole time and talked about how much they liked the main character. They seemed happy to be in agreement over this very important subject.
The lesson I have learned is that I don’t need to force the issue. Nothing good will come out of meddling. Some things are better left unaddressed.
So yes, where there’s a will, there will always be a way, but is it the right way? We cannot force a solution every time there’s a problem.
Let’s give thought to that proverb: “When the will is ready the feet are light.” What this means to me is that sometimes your will forces you into solving a problem that is either not ready to be solved or doesn’t need to be solved. Your will may rush you into action before you can even see the road. So next time before jumping the gun, think things through, take a deep breath, and remember that some things are better left alone.
1. Can you give an example of someone in your life who has tried to “force” a solution in a given circumstance? What was the outcome?
2. How do you deal with problems in your life where solutions are not overtly evident?