I really appreciate good life reminders from unexpected sources.
You know, like ‘90s romcoms and gyms without towels.
I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately and how it’s such a constant in life—which is kinda funny if you think about it. One of the things that it most consistent in life is the thing that ruins consistency.
Two of my gal pals and I were watching You’ve Got Mail the other night (call us basic—whatevs), and there’s a line in there when Kathleen Kelly admits that she needs to close her bookstore that stuck out: “Closing the store is the brave thing to do. You are daring to imagine that you could have a life doing something else.” (P.S. I’m sorry that I forgot to mention the spoiler alert, but if you haven’t seen that movie by now, that’s another discussion in itself that we need to have.)
I had never really thought of it that way. I think that because I grew up playing sports, and one of my favorite things to do now is play and watch them, I’ve always thought of quitting something or giving something up as failing and everything that’s the opposite of brave. Yet here Birdie is telling the world that sometimes admitting defeat and moving on is brave.
I guess being brave looks different for everyone.
I’ve mentioned probably more times than anyone cares to hear that I went through a pretty rough heartache not too long ago, and the healing process took (and maybe even is still taking) way longer than I wanted or expected. But there was this huge part of my heart that wanted him to be the guy for me. It crushed me even to think that he wasn’t, and it made me feel like I would never find anyone like him.
For me, being brave meant finally admitting that it was a good thing to find someone not like him. Sure, he had a lot of the qualities I love in a person, but the bottom line is that he didn’t love me or even care about me the way my forever person will. Being brave meant closing the door to that book store, so to speak, and daring to imagine that someone else will captivate me more than he ever did and make me feel things that he never did.
Former NFL wide receiver Eric Boles was a guest speaker at my church over the weekend, and he always brings a good word. If everyone spoke about life in sports analogies like he does, I think that I would understand a lot more. I mean, the guy said that “yesterday’s home runs do not win today’s games.” That’s gold, people. He also said something else that really stuck. He was talking about when a quarterback is looking to throw to his receiver while the opposing team is charging at him and trying to distract his focus. Some quarterbacks will just heave it out there with the faith that their receivers will be where they’re supposed to and make the catches. If they wait too long to throw the ball, though, things might get ugly—and painful. Then he let his next words sink in: Don’t hold onto the ball too long.
Just like quarterbacks, sometimes we just have to let go with the faith that what will happen next will be better than holding on.
One day last week, I went running at the beach and then had somewhere to be but didn’t have enough time to drive back to my apartment. However, there was an LA Fitness in the area, and I convinced the guy at the front desk to let me borrow a shower without paying a guest fee or being forced to talk to anyone about a membership just to get a day pass. What I didn’t realize until I got into the locker room, though, is that this LA Fitness didn’t have any towels. None. Zero. Zip. So I did what any reasonable person would do: I used a bunch of paper towels to dry myself off.
In situations like that one, I’m pretty good at adapting. Sure, I would have much rather had an actual towel and not felt like I’m a walking sitcom in many regards, but I didn’t think twice about taking a new path and didn’t dwell on the no-towel issue. I had faith in those paper towels to get the job done.
Why can’t it be that easy when other things don’t go the way we wish?
It can be tough to believe that there’s something else out there for you when you’ve always believed your life was supposed to go a certain way. Whether it’s with your career or a relationship or where you live or whatever—sometimes there are moments when you simply have to face the facts that what you’ve been planning might not be what God has planned for you. It might hurt your heart to say goodbye, but it also can make even more room in your heart for something that brings it more joy than you ever could have imagined.
And whether it gets you a Super Bowl win or not, launching that ball into the air just might be the brave thing to do.