Hermit crabs (and I believe most crabs) at some point in their existence must leave their shell or die. Their body out grows the shell. They must discard the old shell - go out and find a bigger shell or hide and wait for the new shell to grow. While discarding the shell, they risk death. Someone/something could eat them. They could get stepped on or carried out to sea.
The risks are HUGE.
And our lives as people, are very much the same. Although, with people, we don't all need to grow. Some are very happy living in the same shell forever. That's not a bad thing. Most of us in life though, have to grow - or we will suffocate. We need to take risks in order to find that new shell.
A few years ago, I was in Newport Beach, CA. A friend's daughter and I were looking for shells, crabs, and sea creatures under rocks. It's always fun to see what is living under a rock! In fact, a few years before this same girl and I had found a squid! Very cool. (No wonder boys look under rocks - there is all sorts of interesting stuff there!)
We picked up a little hermit crab and it was crawling around on my hand. Then the most amazing thing happened: it walked right out of it's shell and kept going. Off into the water - it never looked back. We stood there amazed. Neither one of us had ever seen anything like that. A naked crab running away leaving a shell in my hand. Shock. We didn't know what to do or think.
Being the over-thinker I can be, I kept thinking about that crab.
Maybe the crab:
- Gave me everything he had and that had to be enough
- Knew I needed the protection more than him
- Had to grow without his safety
- Was sent to protect me, because my current shell wasn't strong enough
- Thought I was the more powerful bigger crab
- Thought it was better to surrender than to fight
- Knew there a better, prettier, stronger shell waiting
- Was about to suffocate and felt safe leaving his old life with me
- Felt strong enough to go on
- Wanted to get bigger
- Had to leave his past behind
- Knew that all you really need is on the inside anyway
- Wanted me to follow him naked into the water
- Didn't need a shell anymore
- Knew sometimes you have to risk it all