Thursday, January 05, 2006

All Wound Up Today

Harry the Shih Tzu at the table.
We had just finished Christmas morning breakfast. This table setting was still there. He hopped up on the chair, certain, that since all the people who sat at the table were served food when they sat down in front of a place setting, someone would surely do so for him. It didn't work out that way. No one put any food for him to enjoy. In fact, right after this picture was taken he was put back down on the floor. Doggies are ever hopeful. They never get discouraged by circumstances. They live in today. They live to please their master. They will follow him anywhere, because they trust him. They keep it simple.
Trust is a big issue for us humans. Building trust with someone else or trusting myself is difficult. Experiences tell me not to trust anyone until they prove themselves. How much do they have to do to prove themselves, though? Could they have ulterior motives, selfish motives? They could be manipulating me for their own purposes. Aren't they looking out for number one? I should do to them before they can do to me. Read something into every word they say. Don't trust what you read, hear on the radio or see on television. How do you know what to believe? How do you discern truth?
This is just one of the hundreds of issues I think about. I get so wound up when I think about deep issues. My mind starts spinning with every facet of the issue, all the facts, all the feelings start whirling around until I cannot see it clearly any longer. I get what I call, the circus in my head--hundreds of thoughts twirling similtaneously, like a juggler with hundreds of balls in the air. I think and worry about all kinds of things, not just deep issues. My mind is crowded with concern and worry. My spouse's dental procedure and accompanying anesthesia(Will he be ok? There's always a risk with being put under, you know) and how expensive it will be. Which spins off into: both dogs need their teeth cleaned(how much will that cost?). Which spins to: I need to find a dentist here and get my dental cleaning and check up. Which spins to: My spouse's medical tests next week(Will they find anything wrong?) Which goes to: We both need to lose weight. (We are both carrying our weight on our bodies in the worst place-the middle. We need to start exercising). An what about the terrorists? What about the earthquake or tidal wave somewhere? This could go on and on, winding up until I am beside myself. This is what contributes to my insomnia. If I let it start when I wake up in the night, there will be an hour or two of trying to wind it back down. I try to pray and the other thoughts keep intruding.
What can I do? Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Cast my cares on Him, lay my life before Him. Let the Lord be the Master of My Fate. Keep it simple. Don’t let thoughts and worry consume me. Those thoughts and worry keep me from my walk with the Lord as surely as sin does. Random thoughts and worry cannot solve anything. I do not have control over people, places or events--I need to remind myself of that. I cannot change anyone but myself and my reactions. I need to pick one thing at a time, that I have control over and do something about it.
How do I get stuck? Fear. What casts out fear? The love of God. How do I get the love of God? Simply by accepting it. Why do I find this so difficult? That's the ultimate question. I know there are Christians out there who rest assured in the Lord. They find their walk natural and easy. Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.” Why do I struggle so in my walk with the Lord? I know it's of my own choosing, but how do I choose to walk on Jesus' path instead of going off wandering into the desert of my own making? I want to choose the path and yet sometimes I do the opposite of what I want to do.
I need to see that growing spiritually is not climbing up to what I perceive as perfection in others, but rather doing what I do with genuine devotion. I can't even come close to emulating the women I admire. But I can grow spiritually in simple and essential areas by reading the Bible regularly, attending Church, praying often and choosing to walk with Jesus. The desire to achieve perfection makes me feel inadequate, when in reality I am always good enough in God's eyes. I am not perfect, just forgiven. Paul said in 2Corinthians:9,10 "But He said to me,"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong".
Lord, today I to claim my weakness and Your strength.

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