We’re feeling a bit bereft as our youngest family member is away on a week-long school trip. I console myself remembering that the point of the residential, I think, is to teach these soon-to-be secondary school pupils a bit of independence and to challenge them to try new things so that they discover that they are able to do more than they thought. Those experiences wouldn’t happen in the same way if we were there.
This morning there was a story on the radio about a recent study about guppies. Apparently, guppies that live where there are lots of predators have significantly larger brains than those that don’t. It’s yet another illustration from nature that a bit of resistance and challenge has the potential to improve us (or kill us, I guess).
Some students that I know have been telling me about ‘yes theory’. I’m a little bit cynical about what might be in it for the guys who create the videos but I’m impressed by followers wanting to ‘seek discomfort’, which is what it’s all about: saying ‘yes’ to adventure and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.
How do we know what to say ‘yes’ to, imagining, of course, that we are free to choose? (I’m thinking of a friend whose health limits these options significantly.) In any case, saying ‘yes’ may be completely the wrong approach if your objective is to make money. Warren Buffet recently said:
‘The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.’
I don’t think that sounds like a better option.
I keep mulling over some of the words of Psalm 84. A beautiful picture is imagined of birds creating nests in God’s house where they can sing to their hearts’ content and raise their young. But the concept of ‘home’ changes as you read more: there is also happiness for those who travel through the valley, because they have the path to God’s home in their hearts. Happiness is found in trust.
‘Yes theory’ is a bit like trust, but trust is more personal and less centered on self. It’s more like loving parent who is asking me to step out of my comfort zone and grow into who they believe me to be.
It was a bit challenging to sing this song recently at our house blessing. ‘My heart is an open space for you to come and have your way. I’m open. I’m open.’ We sang that in every single room of our house. I want to be able to mean it. That would be quite a yes.