A popular subject
Have you ever thought about the power of your mind? Google it. It is a popular subject. Millions of books have been written, thousands of techniques have been designed, even ‘religions’ are advanced around its power. I am a marketing major from way back when. Marketing is a researched attempt to influence your powerful mind. If marketing works well, you take action.
I am an optimist — a cup half full kind of person. Still circumstances can and do influence me. And when they do, through the lens of circumstances, my cup looks different. I refer you to my last tantrum aired in my entry called “the Twilight Zone”. https://debhucke.com/2018/07/22/entering-the-twilight-zone/
Satan enters the scene
Satan is a master at using circumstances as an effective marketing tool. According to CS Lewis in the screw-tape letters… here is one favorite lesson. “We often think of the Devil as putting wrong thoughts in our minds. Yet, the Devil may best deceive us, not by putting things in our mind, but by keeping things out of it.”
Whenever I get in that dark place, I spend precious time and limited energy looking at the darkness. By doing so, without intention, that darkness, looms even larger and darker. Just as satan wants it to. When those bad feelings creep in, when fear grips, when circumstances suffocate, I have succumbed to the devil’s marketing. I purchase the lie. I act as though it’s up to me. And my mind forgets to look beyond myself. The devil has succeeded in preventing the truth I know to be center stage. DAMN him.
During this prolonged season of CIRCUMSTANCES, I’ve become somewhat practiced at recovering from a funk. They are still frequent, but thankfully, as I’ve matured, their duration is shorter.
I just started reading a book called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. It has been on my reading list, but I’ve resisted it for awhile. The title seemed “un-fun”. A long obedience… sounds like work. Sounds like penance.
Just pages into it, I am appreciating that “A Long Obedience” is actually no penance, but privilege. I am beginning to understand why my “funk recovery” is getting faster. The Christian life, this journey of faith, this beautiful struggle is an apprenticeship. It is not academic, rather, it is “on the job training, through circumstances. It is skill development, learned by observing and working beside the master craftsman, Jesus. I’ve been privileged and rewarded by a very long apprenticeship.
Would you like to know my “funk recovery” secret? It is NOT simply mind over matter or a technique. Nor is it positive thinking on steroids, or tapping into some special energy. Instead it’s a relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, it’s the gospel. It is good news.
Psalm 16:8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Last Sunday, after blogging about the status of suck-age in our home, I prayed. My prayer was simple, but honest. Lord please encourage me. He did. My role, was to stop looking at the dark long enough to simply look up.In the darkness, even a little light will shine. And His light is the light of a million galaxies on a crystal clear night.
Within moments of posting my blog about the Twilight zone…
- Another TBI mom sent an encouraging email. She described her research of many other TBI recoveries and suggested my year long timeline was VERY aggressive. I was relieved and encouraged.
- An old fashioned phone call from a concerned friend who just wanted to listen encouraged me.
- I successfully made progress with Ian’s UNM status updating his records, without hassle. I was encouraged.
- Doug took Ian to a movie and I got to be home alone realizing I don’t carry the burden alone. More encouragement.
- And the next morning, that handsome ginger kid woke up with a better attitude. He hugged me and called a truce. Big encouragement.
Circumstances are not dramatically different. What is different… my lens. I am viewing them as a junior apprentice, through the eternal lens of Jesus and with Him by my side. And that half full cup that I can conjure with my optimistic mind…. it is overflowing with gratitude.