Fight or Flight?

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By Rick Moore

Taking pictures of birds in the wild can be adventurous. If you’ve ever been attacked by a flock of geese then you know this. Birds in the wild are not used to humans. They will usually fly away or fight to protect their territory. But birds in the public parks tend to go with the flow because they are used to humans being nearby, feeding them, and even taking photos.

Fightorflight

In a world of winners and losers, few headlines are for those who go with the flow. It’s more exciting to talk about the person who swims upstream, defeating the odds in order to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Children sing “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.” Expressions such as “Good things come to those who wait” are commonly shared. Now, the call of the day is hurry, hurry, hurry!

Going with the flow can have a negative connotation. It may imply a person is not taking a stand for what they believe. Perhaps a lesson can be learned from our local Dune lakes. Sometimes the water flows from the lake to the Gulf and sometimes the water flows from the Gulf to the lake. The Dune lakes have learned to go with the flow, making them very special. There is an appropriate time to speak out and an appropriate time to hold your tongue. Most people are still learning not to comment about everything they disagree with on television, the radio or the internet. And how about social media posts? Many in the next generation consider people to be sell-outs or hypocrites if they do not speak their mind. Long ago, it was called being a peacemaker.

There’s a funny video of a tiny sheepdog with about twenty sheep out in the field (Google “World’s Worst Sheepdog”). Instead of the dog rounding up the sheep, the sheep were chasing him. When it came to fight or flight, the little dog chose flight. Many have an idea of how the little dog must have felt. Of course, one could argue the little sheep dog was actually leading the sheep instead of the sheep chasing him. As the old saying goes,”If you’re being chased out of town by a mob with pitchforks, proudly jump out front, strike up the band and call it a parade” Perspective changes the narrative.

There have been many times I have taken a stand for what I believe, and two of those times, it cost me my job. I would make the same decisions today, and I’m proud I took a stand. But there are many more times I look back over the years and wish I hadn’t made mountains out of mole hills. Not every hill is worth dying on, and relationships are more important than being right. We can all use a little more peace in our lives. Do we fight for peace? Is peace found by getting away and leaving our worries behind? Or is peace found by staying right where we are and going with the flow? Jesus said during the sermon on the mount,“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Rick Moore is Pastor of Communications for Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach.

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