Came across this devotional today that I remember reading before, but still bears repeating:
THE HERMIT CRAB
A lesson from nature reveals what happens when we trade the good fight for an easier way and walk away from our struggle. I recently read a biologist’s study on crabs, creatures that live in a rough, dangerous environment among jagged rocks. Crabs are dashed about daily by waves and attacked on every side by creatures from deeper waters. They battle continually to protect themselves, and over time they develop a strong shell and powerful instincts for survival.
Amazingly, some in the crab family give up the struggle for life. Searching for a safe haven, they take up residence in the cast-off shells of other ocean creature. These crabs are known as hermit crabs. Settling for safety, they retreat from the battle and escape into secondhand houses that are ready-made.
But hermit crabs’ “safe houses” prove to be costly and ruinous. Through their lack of struggle, crucial parts of their bodies deteriorate. Even their organs wither due to lack of use. Over time the hermit crab loses all power of motion, as well as vital parts needed for escape. These limbs simply fall off, leaving the crab out of danger but useless to do anything except exist.
Meanwhile, crabs that continued the struggle grow and flourish. Their five pairs of legs become meaty and strong from resisting the powerful tides. And they learn to hide from their predators by skillfully scuttling under rock formations.
Lately I’ve been wondering about decisions I need to make that could change my life, but I’m always of the attitude that things NEVER work out for me, so why bother? So I hide in my cave and wave from a safe distance as life passes me by. I realized though that this is not a good way to live, that I can’t be afraid of being disappointed to the point that I never bother taking risks anymore. While I enjoy the comforts of my cave, sometimes I need a reminder every now and then to get out there, take a chance, and grab life by the horns. The cave will still be there when I get back.