My husband loves the BBC series of Planet Earth. He has always been fascinated with this amazing earth that God has created. With all it’s complexities and beauties, it truly is something marvelous. As our family gathered around watching the newest Planet Earth 2 I found myself cheering for this baby iguana being chased by racer snakes. Apparently the snakes eye sight is not too keen and therefore they rely on motion to capture prey. So this new little hatch-ling is standing quietly while you see this snake slither around it. It becomes so close that finally the iguana bolts. Now baby iguana’s can outrun the racer snake but because there are so many snakes the baby iguanas are ambushed and often captured and eaten.
Why did my mind automatically classify the snake as bad and the iguana as good. Perhaps it was the way the story was presented. This new innocent baby iguana has to race through a land mine of snakes. But I was cheering for this little reptile to make it. Do we naturally classify things as good and bad? I had spent most of my life just thinking that is how it is… there are good things and there are bad things. Usually my mood followed the defined situation.
I can’t really pinpoint it to one particular moment but a process, where the holy ghost questioned my need to classify each situation. Perhaps if you could relinquish labeling things good and bad and just let them be, life would hold more joy and it would be easier to choose my reactions. But even though I know this lesson we still have many mini lessons.
In my example of snakes and iguanas, are iguanas any more important than snakes in their ecosystem? They are both trying to survive and both fulfilling their roles. They were both created by God why should one outcome bring more joy than the other?
I have tried to stop distinguishing things as good or bad… often I say it just “is” or they “are.” It may seem a simple change but to me it gives me power. It gives me clarity of who really is at the helm of all of lifes events.
It’s reminds me of the time that I was leaving the temple and I walked by a pregnant girl whose mom had been diagnosed with cancer. I passed her quickly and uttered a hello. (I knew her but I mostly knew her mom and grandmother) But I hadn’t gotten very far when the spirit kinda stopped me and said, “You of all people can not walk past that girl, turn around and talk to her” It’s true, when I was pregnant with my first child my mom had been diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I could remember thinking and praying: “Now that i’m willing to listen to my mom and need her advice and want her to be part of my life, she may be leaving.” I went back to this girl and I hugged her. I asked her about her mom. We chatted and she ended with a comment like, “It will all be good.” And I corrected her and said, “No, it will be.” I remember as she heard my correction we both kinda started to cry. Because somethings don’t need a category. We embraced again and parted both kinda being retaught the lesson.
Of course there is evil and there is good, but if I can quietly acknowledge the Lord’s guiding hand and see the love in all of lives events I may be able to increase my joy and choose to act instead of being acted upon. I guess maybe the Beetles had it right when they said, “Let it be.”
To all of you who want to see this epic chase between the iguana and the snakes here is the link: