Years ago (perhaps before your time) there was a popular expression:  "catch the brass ring."   To do so was considered very fortunate as it implied that Lady Luck was smiling upon you and that you were destined to have good fortune.

This happy anecdotal theme was closely associated with riding on a merry-go-round (carousel) in days past.  Today, most amusement parks have a carousel on their premises although they do not offer the option of catching the brass ring.

Mounted on the decks of all carousels are ornate horses and lovely painted benches to accommodate its happy riders as the carousel spins around and around to the melodic serenade of piped organ music.  The horses on the outer edge of the deck go up and down while those along side them are stationary.  

In years past, those youngsters who were confident and able to climb onto their  favorite moving horse, would strap themselves in, and with their left hand clutching the pole tightly, they would stretch out their right arm as far as they could in hopes of catching the brass ring that was spring-loaded onto a pole positioned along side the spinning carousel.  It required timing, positioning, and determination. This was a very huge challenge to a small child no taller than three feet in height.  If the child was successful, the ring - and only the brass ring ( there were other rings loaded on the pole that were made of just metal) - could be used as a token for a free ride.  However, many youngsters elected to keep it and forfeit the "freebie"  . . . at least until he/she was ready to be challenged again.

There is an analogy here.  Our lives are similar to a spinning carousel with all of its ups and downs.  Sometimes, the ride is smooth and pleasant and we just coast along and enjoy the momentum. We really don't want to do anything too strenuous that will invite change or chaos.  We're not  interested in reaching for the brass ring.  Then there are other times when events seem to spin out of control and we can barely hold on to keep from falling  . . . falling into confusion and depression.

Pause for a moment and reflect on your life.   You can stay in your safe rut (the stationary horse or bench on the carousel) and experience a minimum of stress and inconvenience.  Your life is functional, but after a while - it seems boring and uneventful.  You begin to feel a void.  Life has lost its purpose and meaning.  You search for something or someone new.  A new job, new residence, new love . . . whatever.  You're feeling discontent and disoriented.  What went wrong?

The truth is . . . life never stands still.  It is constantly in motion.  It is the  Grand Carousel, Lady Fortune and the Brass Ring simultaneously.   We are here for the "ride" so why not avail yourself of its promise? 

So many of us have latent abilities and dreams that will never see the light of day because of fear.  We fear taking a risk and want guarantees.  We worry about what others will think or how they will react.  Will they disapprove and withdraw their love?  We also fear failure and change.  We are the little children on the merry-go-round who must muster up courage and determination to try for the prize . . . the brass ring.  By now, you realize that the brass ring is symbolic of any goal - any dream you may have.

Perhaps it is time for you to reach out, accept the challenge, and grasp for something wonderful.  It's time for you to catch the brass ring.  Don't worry about falling.  Strap yourself in carefully (prepare well), ride with the ups and downs (there will be setbacks), and then, when the time is right - go for it! 

Remember - practice makes perfect.