Lighten Your Load

Posted: September 26, 2007 in Daily Blog

I was worried I might not have anything good to write about this morning, but lucky for us there is plenty to write about if you just watch the news for a few minutes! My wife was flipping through the TV channels and sure enough what was all over the news? A semi truck for FedEx wrecked in Texas. It has shut down part of the highway, and if you have ever been in or around Dallas, it needs every lane open it can get to keep traffic from becoming more like a drive in movie (pull up, shut off your car to save gas, watch the entertainment for an hour, while listening to the soundtrack to your life,) than the usual drive through fast food lane (stop, go, stop, go, yell something out the window, go, stop, pay a toll, go) yes all this on a 6 lane highway! So here are these aerial shots on the news showing this truck ripped in half with all the packages scattered all over the median, and it seriously looks like it could take hours to clean up! At this point if you are waiting for a package from FedEx you may want to check your on-line tracking number! I am not sure if this was one of those double trailer semis, or not, but there is a pile of packages, a mile of backed up traffic, and this shipping company’s name is all over the news now.

So here we are, driving down the highway of life, and suddenly – Bam! And we go careening off the road! It has happened to all of us; maybe not in our cars, but for sure in our relationships with others. We think things are fine, then we have done something, or someone has done something to us and it seems like all of our insides and cargo goes splattering all over the median of our life! Conflict is hard, whether it is between a highway divider, another car, or when relationships collide. Friendship can be tried and banged around for a lot of different reasons and causes, but here is what we can learn from this FedEx problem…

The size of the mess is often determined by the size of the load we are carrying! If this had been an economy sized pick up truck, it would not nearly have caused the mess that a semi truck did. It wouldn’t have made the national news, and caused so many backups, it wouldn’t have the impact it did. Pick up a few boxes and everyone is on their way. But a semi full of cargo is a whole differnt story! We all know people that stow up problems and frustration and misunderstanding and they get movin’ down the road, and then, Bam! And all their cargo goes spewing all over the place! No one is safe that is near them, and it causes a backlash that is felt throughout all the people that had been impacted by the spewage! Their day is ruined, they tell someone, and it causes a ripple effect, so people that weren’t even close to it feel the effect! It is really uneasy for everyone when this happens… yet we have all been there.

Are you carrying a semi truck full of conflict, bitterness, frustration? I know how easy it is to have this stuff fill up. You start out with a mild infraction, maybe the size of one little box, but you toss it in the back of your mind and keep driving. Then another frustration is added, then another, then the next thing you know you are carrying an “Over-Sized-Load” that is unstable and could blow at any moment! What can we do to keep these things from piling up? Keep your baggage to a minimum! Sounds easy right – wrong! It is really hard to go to a person that you are close to and tell them that they have done something or said something that hurt you. It is really difficult to go to someone you know you have offended and ask for forgiveness. They probably deserved whatever you said and did anyway, right? It can be hard work to keep your load small, but the results can be catastrophic if we don’t! The load will eventually shift, and you will eventually be caught up in the clean up of conflict. The size of the load you are carrying will make the difference between a major “national news” worthy story that everyone knows about and can be completely embarrassing, or a couple friends meeting over coffee to talk, forgive, and forget. It can be scary to make the call, it can go completely against your feelings, but they dont call it the “high road” for nothing! Negotiating conflict in life is a necessary skill to develop if you want to keep the clean-up to a minimum. In this life we will have trouble, and if you are like me, we will probably cause a little trouble too! Keeping the messes to a minimum is in everyone’s best interest, so next time you get angry about someone, keep the FedEx image in your mind – how big of a mess are you willing to deal with?

Keep your load light, it is easier over the long haul, and you will feel so much better!

  1. yeah, lucky for you that fed-ex truck wrecked… no, seriously, how much of those packages aren’t even ours. we take it on because a spouse or a friend has been wronged. we take it on out of loyalty and fill our truck up with packages that were never meant for us. what do you do with those? you can’t give forgiveness or ask for it… nothing was done to you and nothing is owed. but it’s so hard to not take that on. we want to be sure our spouse or friend knows we’re on their side and it seems so disloyal to not get offended when they are offended.

  2. grahamprouty says:

    You are right, we do take on additional packages and problems not belonging to us that add to the load we carry. If we are all going to the person and seeking understanding and hopefully agreement, then even if it is someone else’s package it can keep loads down. Your significant other or close friend can go to the person and talk it out, then let you know how it went afterward. That way, maybe, you can off load the packages quicker. Conversations are the intersections in life. We need to talk about this kind of stuff to get it off our backs so it doesn’t turn into a major disaster. We also all probably need to learn to show a little more mercy, grace and hope in our relationships with people. Mercy so when people are hurting and need help we help and heal, grace in knowing that we mess up too and to hold a grudge or grevence doesn’t do anyone any good, and hope in believeing that people are not always attempting to hurt or tick us off. Keeping our lives from becoming cluttered and overwhelmed with frustration keeps those highway messes small… they will still happen, this is life, but they dont have to be the scattered all over the landscape of life kinds of events.

  3. what i was really trying to get at is that if it’s not ours we shouldn’t take it on. what kind of perspective do you have with your friend or spouse (i say spouse, you say significant other)if you’re mad just because they are mad. you can’t help them gain prospective on or even process whatever it is if you’re as bothered by whatever it is as they are…

  4. okay, so i’ve now loaded up my little truck and aimed it for most damage… is that wrong?

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