Photographer: Ingolf Kristiansen Source: Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/15/fish-frozen-in-place-norway-herring-photo_n_4596811.html
These "polar vortex" sub-zero temperatures we've been having have been a shock to our systems and caused our daily routines to change in so many ways. It also has made me think about being frozen in a different way.
The picture above was taken in Lovund, Norway, last weekend. It was so cold, in fact, that a school of herring that strayed too close to shore apparently froze in place. As I looked at this picture, I couldn't help but feel sorry for these fish. They are just following the crowd, swimming along and when they got too close to the shore on this one cold day that they froze right in place. I also couldn't help but think about the times when I have been frozen.
I don't mean frozen in the same way as my body temperature getting so low I am frozen solid, (although this week there have been times I thought I was close!) I mean frozen...stuck...I can't move forward no matter how hard I try or no matter how much I want to. This specific predicament of being cemented in one place has happen several times in my life. It is frustrating and erodes my self esteem and my energy. I also don't think I am alone. From talking to my friends, I find that many people feel frozen from time to time.
How does one become frozen? I wonder about that often. I mean, I am a very busy person, running from this activity to another; from this responsibility to the next. How in the world do I have time to allow myself to get stuck? For me, I think many times complacency is the culprit. Since I am so busy, I become semi-satisfied with the way things are, even if they aren't the way I thought I wanted them, because it is easier to be satisfied than it is to do the work to change. Changing an ingrained habit or routine takes hard work and I just simply don't seem to have then energy.
That's why I keep going back to God's word for support, strength, courage and energy to thaw out my frozen self!
In the recent Disney movie "Frozen," Queen Elsa sings
"Let it go...
It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all.
It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I am free!"
She breaks free from the habits and routines that had her frozen in her own castle. (Ironically, she discovers this on a frozen mountain top.) Elsa may not go to God's word for her strength, but she does realize that she has to let the old behaviors go before she can move on.
I need to let it go. I need to move forward...again. I need to break free from this frozen comfortable cocoon that I have allowed myself to get trapped in yet again. I used The Message Translation of Romans 12:2 above because it explains what I need to do to a tee. First of all, I need to allow God to help me. I need to the give my life and every thing I do back to God...again. I don't believe God gets tired of me needing to thaw myself again. I believe He is there, cheering me on, encouraging me, pushing me forward, and giving me the "heat" I need to begin to thaw.
By stepping back, and really looking at the behaviors that have me frozen, I believe I will gain some new perspective. If I stay where I am, I will not grow. I will stagnate in my frozen state and I will die a little bit every day. I need to listen for God's coaxing. If I really listen, I will learn to understand what my Father wants from me. He has given me everything I need to thaw from this frozen prison. The things that once controlled me: my laziness...my complacency...my need to please...my fears...They can't hold me down any more!
Those frozen Norway fish didn't have a chance against the freezing waters and howling winds close to the shore. They weren't aware of their circumstances...they didn't know where they were. They were caught unaware.
Dear Father, help me not to be caught aware! Thank you that I have realized my frozen state! Now, let me open my heart, my mind and my spirit to your teachings that will allow me to break free from those habits that are holding me back. I let them go! I give my life and everything I do to you AGAIN and know that you willing accept. Help me to grow, do the work, and Lord, bring out the best in me. Amen.