Equilibrium – Death by a Million Cuts

Published by Chet Kennedy on

One of the best things about working with teenagers is that they have new possibilities built into their lives on a regular basis. They don’t often get stuck in the unending life draining pattern of work/home/work home. They have change literally built into their scenarios on a fairly regular basis. Generally, they can switch schools, switch jobs, switch sports teams. They can change their hair styles, their friends groups, their classes. They even change semesters every few months. They live in a constant state of flux and upheaval. This creates its own set of frustration, confusion and stress but there is little danger of getting stuck in and endless cycle of year after year equilibrium. 

Adults, on the other hand can find themselves stuck on that hamster wheel and any change, no matter how small can feel like tossing a grenade into the living room. 

There is a scene in the movie Good Will Hunting where Chuckie is explaining to Will that if they are still here in 20 years doing the exact same thing he will kill Will. 

I have always loved that scene. I think it’s something we all need to hear. To struggle with the concept of waking up one day and realizing life has passed us by and we are all still dealing with the same set of problems we’ve always had. 

I meet with so many men lately who are struggling with life in their 40s and 50s. The common question is, “Is this all there is?” 

It feels like they are stuck in a rut, stuck in a well, they might as well be stuck on the bottom of the ocean. 

Usually, we know what the problem is… it’s our job, our kids, our wives. It’s the car, or the lawn, or the house… it’s one thing or another thing, or it’s all the things. We tell ourselves that if we can fix that one thing everything will be great but when we sit down and try to formulate a plan we begin to realize that there is so much more to the struggle than we really understand. 

I would like to suggest that it probably is all of those things but I know that we will not be able to change any of those other things in our lives until we actually begin to see the broken parts in ourselves that need to be fixed. When it all comes down to it we are our own worst enemy. 

Isn’t it just easier to believe that she should change, or they should change… the struggle is if we are honest, we are the ones letting things slide because we don’t really want to deal with it. 

Can we truly afford to wake up in 5 years and have made no progress in our lives. The problem with equilibrium is that it’s not even a true statement when it comes to our hearts. Although it may feel like nothing has changed, our problems that we shove under the carpets just get worse. Our debts don’t go away, our bellies don’t shrink, our habits just get more habitual. When we refuse to make changes everything gets worse and the compound interest on toxic thinking is exponentially terrible. 

What’s it going to take to make that change? What’s it going to take to make you stop and really look at your own heart and decide that it is time to wrestle the demons and get some help. 

For me, it took everything…

I lost my wife, my job, my house. I lost everything I held dear and it was in that process that I truly got to see my heart and my desperate need for change.  Yet God was gracious in the process, he held me through the pain, he walked me down deep dark valleys of great turmoil and covered me in the midst of some brutal storms. 

Embracing change as a grown man may seem more difficult than jumping from here to the moon but it’s absolutely necessary if we want to combat equilibrium in our lives. If we want to continue to become the men God truly wants us to be we need to look deep into our own souls and allow God to show us the broken pieces. Then with his help we can begin to find healing and restoration and begin moving forward.

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