“I’m too far gone.”
No, you’re not.
“God don’t want me.”
Yeah. He does. Breathing?
“Well . . . yeah.”
Then He wants you.
“You don’t understand. Where I’ve been, what I’ve done: God can’t love me.”
Who told you that?
“Well, you know. . .”
Mm-hmm. Sure do. Same ones I used to listen to. Same ones telling me I may as well expect it to snow curly fries as straighten my life out and make something of it besides the mess on stilts I’d managed to create. It’s amazing how many advisers whose personal and spiritual lives are smoking wrecks there are who are willing to help you, too, have the same thing. May their tribe decrease. Quick.
God absolutely loves you just as you are right now. He always has, and He loves you far too much to let you stay that way.
“Well, Sherlock, what do I do, then? I mean, setting around like a chipped Goodwill bowl of cold brussels sprouts doesn’t strike me as a real great plan of action. Besides, I’ve kind of been getting by okay without all this God stuff.”
Stop. STOP. I just heard this yesterday again, and I’ve believed it a long time: God has NEVER not been carrying you. It may have seemed like you were the master of your destiny and the captain of your starship and neither God nor anybody else had anything to do with what was going on in your life. NOT TRUE. You have no idea of what all might have happened in and around you had God NOT been watching over you, protecting you and yours in response to somebody’s praying Out There Somewhere… Huh. What do atheists do in situations where Christians pray? Send a To-Whom-It-May-Concern test message into the Great Void? Launch a probe into Deep Space?
Anyway. Back to your question. Glad you asked. Remember that first thing we visited about last week that strong thinkers avoid doing? If not, go back and reread it. This is the second one.
2. Strong Thinkers Don’t Give Away Their Power.
“Okay, I’m just guessing, here, but you’re going to explain that. Right? I mean, according to my latest bank statement I got about as much power as my goldfish.”
You bet, O dysphoric victim of alien abduction. The power to which I refer is one we all have and yet horribly misuse. Or more to the point, allow others to misuse.
You have incredible power to control how you feel, how you choose to think, whether you simply react or thoughtfully respond, and in what measure. Yet all too often you and I both tend to let others have free control over how we think and react to others’ ideas, opinions or pop psych.
Think about it. How often of a morning have you had an underwhelming encounter with a negatively-charged person and had a large portion of your day from then on as appealing as a three-day-0ld skunk carcass on the yellow line? “Well, she just made me mad!” or “That jerk of an amateur human being ticked me off and just made me—-”
Inevitable? Inescapable? Not on your life! But you let them control your feelings. Sour… inferior… bad attitude… maybe even physically ill. You blithely handed them power that only belongs to you.
If you’re a Strong Thinker, you accept that you and you alone are in control of your feelings, how you choose to think and respond to outside stimuli – people or situations. You and you alone sit at the manager’s desk, marshaling your thoughts and monitoring your reactions/responses to whatever’s going on around you.
How? Listening helps a lot. It’s amazing how much trauma of soul you can escape by taking a little time for some quiet attentiveness to conversation around you. Sometimes what’s not said is of as great or greater importance than what is said.
God in His wisdom didn’t equip us with earlids. A good listen is often more than worth its wait.
“So, what if I’m not a Strong Thinker?”
You can be. And if you can be, you ought to be. Nobody ought to be allowed to cause you to think or feel any particular way by remote control. That power belongs only to you.
So–here’s to you, Strong Thinker, you Power Ponderer, you. I could pass these along quicker, but I think giving ourselves a week to mull over each of these and begin applying them is about right. I believe we all are weary of the wrong people being allowed control. We’ve all been commiserating, wondering how to yank some of that control back.
Wull, here ’tis, pilgrum. Now ya gonna… do somethin’ with it or ya gonna suck aigs?
© D. Dean Boone, December 2013