It is summer time and its shorts season and that means I have to shave my legs more frequently (unless I want to gross out a lot of people). I have this habit of looking for the symbolism in the ordinary events of life. Believe it or not – I believe that there is some profound symbolism to be learned from shaving my legs!
The other day, I was sitting at the lake with my family and I looked down to see a tiny little forest of hair on one of my legs right behind my ankle bone. I was so grateful that only family was around and horrified by what I was seeing! My little forest was not just a few nubs of hair – every hair in the grouping was at least ¼ inch long (long by leg shaving standards!). It was obvious that although I shaved my legs almost every day that I was consistently missing that certain area of my leg.
Now the reason for this story is not to horrify you with what you might be picturing in your mind (of my leg) but to explain the symbolism I see in this event. In analyzing how my forest of hair came to be – it is obvious that way too often I shave my legs on autopilot. In other words, I shave the same places in the same order without really looking at the “Big Picture” or taking the time to really see what I am doing.
I think life is too often lived on autopilot too. But life is too precious to be lived on autopilot. If we don’t make the effort to really see what is going on around us and to recognize our blessings we miss out on sooo much!
Let me share an example with you. Not long ago I was at a water complex with all of my grandchildren and their mothers. It was a fun for me just sitting on the side of a pool and talking to my daughters and daughter-in-laws. Then it occurred to me that I was missing some great photo opportunities and I took my camera and went searching for my grandchildren.
It was not long before I came across one of my four year old granddaughters. She was in a part of the complex called the river all by herself. She had a life jacket on so she was not in any danger but she was surrounded on all sides by large numbers of people who were much bigger than she was and I could see in her face that she was feeling really overwhelmed.
I called out to her and she reached out to me. She quickly asked me if I would stay with her. I did stay with her and what a learning experience that was for me. Her little four year old self wanted to be both independent and to have safety and security. She would hold onto me for several minutes and then she would let go when she started feeling secure. That process repeated itself many times over and it was such a teaching experience for me. I already knew her well enough to know that she had a strong desire to exert her independence but I learned how important it is to her for me to be a support to her – even when she is trying to “do it myself”. My time with her in the river became a really special bonding time. She may be only 4 but eventually she will be 14 and when she is, I believe my influence with her will be much greater because of the time that I am spending with her now.
Had I continued on “autopilot” at the water complex, I would have still had a great time with my family members but I would have missed out on a really precious moment in my life.
Who would have thought shaving my legs could teach me so much! …What a reminder for me to be on the lookout for more precious opportunities and to be more aware of what is going on around me!
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