I first met Mama Dot and her husband, Dewitt, in 1999. And I can promise you this: I'll never forget what happened to them late one night. So far, I have not met anyone anywhere who has experienced the same thing.
Mama Dot heard some clatter in a closet in her room. Something was in there! Dewitt was sound asleep. The sound grew louder, so she walked up to the door, grabbed the handle, and slowly opened it up. There, inside the closet, was a possum. It looked at her and hissed. And Mama Dot quickly slammed the door.
"Dewitt! Dewitt!" she exclaimed. "Wake up! There's a possum in the closet! You gotta get him out of there!"
Dewitt was in a deep sleep. It took a few moments for her to wake him up. Finally, he opened one eye and looked at Mama Dot. She enthusiastically told him what was going on. Dewitt looked her right in the eye and said this: "Possum got in the closet, and possum can get out of the closet." And then good ole Dewitt rolled over and went back to sleep.
My buddy just wasn't interested in dealing with a dirty, angry possum. He figured the problem would fix itself. So he didn't do anything about it.
If you ask me, that's a funny story! I doubt I'd be interested in dealing with a possum either. That's not anywhere on my bucket list.
But that story also has me thinking about something serious...
How many times in life do we have problems arise, and we choose not to deal with them? It's kind of like we hope, for whatever reason, the problem will either go away or fix itself. In our minds, we choose not to go through the hassle because we are too scared or too lazy to handle them.
Look, the possum did eventually go away through a hole in the wall. But other problems in life don't. Some things in life only get worse over time if we don't deal with them.
Relationship problems only get worse if we don't deal with them.
Financial problems only get worse if we don't deal with them.
Addiction problems only get worse if we don't deal with them.
Work-related problems only get worse if we don't deal with them.
Spiritual problems only get worse if we don't deal with them.
There comes a time when we have to roll up our sleeves, have some honest communication about the matter, deal with the messy circumstances, and handle what is making our life difficult. We can sit there all we want and just wish problems away. But that usually accomplishes nothing. We have to exert energy, take action, make sacrifices.
Let's not procrastinate any longer about the possums in our closets. May this be the day we deal with problems that have been plaguing our lives! And when we do, peace of mind will be restored, and we will rest much more easily at night.