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We have a wood burning stove in our home. It is one of my favorite things in our house. We have our reading chair sitting next to it, and I enjoy sitting here to read and meditate in my spare time.
Lately though, my peaceful little corner has been intruded upon. Birds have been exploring the inside of our chimney and several of them have been unable to escape. The sound is horrible, they screech and scratch and flail their wings in fear. The poor lost birds are disoriented and anxious to escape, but they are trapped. There is no way to return back up the chimney, and the closed stove door offers no escape at the bottom.
The bird needs help.
You are probably thinking that the solution is easy. Open the stove door, supply an exit, and let the birds escape to freedom.This was my thought the first time I heard a trapped bird. I opened up the front door to our home, and I opened up the stove door. I imagined that the bird would see the light, smell the fresh air, and fly to freedom.
That is not what happened. Birds are also afraid of humans, even helpful ones.
When I opened the stove the bird retreated to the stove pipe and froze in fear. No matter what I tried the bird refused to leave through the open stove door.The bird died in our stove pipe because it was too afraid to accept help and try a different route.
We are just like this bird sometimes.
When I got fired from a retail job two years ago I began my new job search looking for a new retail position. I didn't even like that job. People with drug and alcohol problems often return to their destructive behaviors. After a break-up or divorce people often end up back together.
In relationships, careers, education, and life; We return to what we are familiar with. Even if that path offers no escape. We flail our wings anxiously in the chimneys of our lives even if we know our task is futile. And what are we trying so hard to avoid? Freedom.
Change brings liberation, fear leads to death.
The cost of fear is death.
So why are we afraid to change?