Legendary animator Chuck Jones created or produced some of the greatest cartoons, working on projects ranging from “Bugs Bunny” to “The Grinch” to “Tom and Jerry” and “Pepe LePew.” His greatest creation was the duo of “Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner.”
The outcome of each of their stories was predictable. The Road Runner would “Meep, Meep” and escape, and Wile E. would go cascading off a cliff for the umpteenth time. But miraculously, he would never die.
Gravity wasn’t his only challenge; he also suffered from those absurd contraptions he purchased from ACME, machinery he thought would help him catch his nemesis. A Bat-Man outfit, a dehydrated boulder, earthquake pills, a painted tunnel – but none of them ever worked. But after each failure, and they were legion, Coyote would scrape himself off the desert floor or crawl from beneath some crushing avalanche, and soldier on, “bloody but unbowed.”
Faced with his body of work, some have opined that Wile E. is a model in resiliency, an example to us all to keep on keeping on. I’m not so sure about that. The Coyote’s creator may have made him unflappable and indestructible, but our Creator did not provide us with such qualities.
Life can be too much for us sometimes, and it’s best to admit it. I know that cuts against the grain of our determined, conquering egos, but it is the truth nonetheless. There are simply too many falls off too many cliffs; too many stupid, self-inflicted wounds; too many times when we have had to spatula up what is left of us from the floor; too much exhausting pursuit without the proper pay off.
So, don’t believe the proverb that, “God won’t put more on you than you can bear.” The Bible never says such a thing, and life—any life outside of a cartoon desert—doesn’t validate it either. What do we do about it? Ask anyone who is in recovery. The steps that lead to restoration and healing begin with the confession that we “are powerless,” and we “only a Power greater than ourselves can restore us.”
Admitting our limitations does not prevent us from living robust, powerful lives. As these spill out on the ground like a catapulting Coyote going over a cliff, it is then – and only then – that God can do in us what we can’t do on our own.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.