As I was getting ready this morning, I was trying to do something about my severe case of bed head. I ran my hands under the water, wetting them, and then ran them through my wild hair, but now all I had was wet wild hair. Frustrated, I tried again, vigorously running my fingers through the chicken's nest on my head. My hair was wetter, but nowhere near tamed.
Then I thought of something I learned back in art school. Wicking. That's the action that happens when liquid is drawn off by capillary action. I learned it with waterpaint brushes, but another good real world example is when you put a fresh wick in an oil lamp. If you look closely, you can actually watch the liquid travel up the fibers.
Anyway, I soaked my hands again, placed them on my hair, but this time I didn't move them. After a few seconds, I could actually feel the water reaching my scalp. I removed my hands and to my pleasant surprise, my hair was flat and ready for grooming. By remaining still and letting the water and the hair work on their own, I had gotten exactly what I wanted.
That got me to thinking. Sometimes in our lives, we rush and fret and do everything we can think of to "fix" problems only to find them no better than when we started or worse. How often should we have just been quiet and let things work themselves out?
Like me, an idea like this goes totally against some people's nature, but it might just be the answer. Just like you can't rush a flower blooming, or the sun setting, if it's going to be done most effectively, some things just have to be left to do their own thing.
This means saying your piece in an argument and then letting the other person change their mind for themself rather than trying to force change on them. It means allowing your children to learn lessons at a rate that will positively stay with them forever rather than pushing so that the lesson is always remembered in a negative way.
Natural progression may not work at the pace we wish, but it seems to want to be teaching us a lesson. There are times for action and there are times to merely be still and let things work out in their own time.