Have you ever felt that you’re not moving along as quickly as you’d like in some area of your life—that you’re not making the progress you’d hoped for?
I’ve felt this way many times, and I’m sure others have, too. Sometimes there are things in our lives that feel like stumbling blocks, and we just can’t seem to see any way around them. We feel stuck.
When this happens, it’s tempting to think that if we just push harder, or maybe take a big leap forward in spite of our hesitations and fears, that we can make that breakthrough we’re longing for. But often that doesn’t work out, and we end up even more afraid and sometimes so discouraged that we don’t feel like making any more efforts at all.
I think there’s an example in nature that can help us. It’s been used as a metaphor many times, and I think it’s a very good one when we’re feeling trapped between pushing too hard and doing nothing at all. It’s the baby bird inside the egg. Have you ever seen a baby bird spend his whole life inside his egg? Of course not. But I bet you’ve never seen one just crack open his shell with one blow, either. The baby bird is a perfect example of patience, persistence, and common sense. He pecks at his shell a little at a time—peck, peck, peck. Then maybe he stops for a bit, but soon he’ll start pecking away again. And after a while there’ll be a little hole. He sees a tiny ray of light. So he keeps on pecking. And you know the rest of the story.
Why can’t we be like the little bird? Well, we can, of course. Whatever we’re faced with, we can patiently peck at our own shells until we see that first ray of light, and then finally the full splendor of freedom and accomplishment.