It’s been said that the only two things a person can count on is death and taxes. So if death is so sure, why do we live such politically correct lives? Why do we waste so much time beating around the bush: telling white lies, putting on airs, saying things we don’t mean, hanging around negative ninnies, complaining about things when we should just make some changes in our lives? Why do we persist in procrastination, keeping up with the Jones’, living in fear, bent on perfectionism, mulling over the past, mulling over the future, afraid to live, afraid to die, insecure and indecisive?
Why do we care so much about what other people think when all that really matters is what God thinks? Why is it so hard to be real – real with others, real with ourselves? Why do we spend so much time reliving the past, the hurts, the fears? Why is it so hard to let go?
Sometimes I get a glimpse of what it might look like, or even feel like, to live free from these chains. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the problems is that we tend to always be living in the past or the future in our minds. Rarely are we able to stay absorbed in the present moment, trusting Jesus. I once head a story about two monks who were traveling in the countryside. They came to a river, and there by the bank was a women desperately trying to get across. Without thinking, the one monk picked her up in his arms and carried her across to safety on the other side and set her down. As the two men traveled along, sometime later, the one monk asked the other, “why did you carry that woman in your arms across the river?” The other monk replied, “why I set her down over an hour ago, why are you still carrying her?”
This story made me think deeply about how many things I carry into the present. There have been times when I have thought about a single conversation for a week or so, maybe more. When will I be able to just “put it down”, and let go? I sometimes wonder how much of my life has been lost to incessant overthinking, worry, and fear? Why is it so hard to just live in the present?
I’ve been told that journaling can be therapeutic. Perhaps it has something to do with putting our thoughts on paper so that we can release them. There have been times, like last night, when I was praying over and over about something. I just couldn’t come to a satisfactory resolution about it; suddenly, I felt prompted to write it down. After I did, I submitted it to The Lord. Then I picked up what I wrote (something I was going to tell a certain person), after rereading it, I realized that it wasn’t the right thing to say. I know that many Christians journal. I am beginning to think this may be something good for me to do. I happen to be a “list” person. I know that when I have a slew of things to do in the morning, I usually write them down before going to bed; I have found this helpful. Somehow it free’s up my mind and I am able to fall asleep more quickly without mulling over tomorrows “to do” list in my head.
The Bible reminds us to, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you,” 1 Peter 5:7. There are days, hours and weeks that I have been known to give something to God one minute and take it back the next. I often wonder, how many times do I need to surrender this or that? Lots, it appears. But ultimately, I believe it must all go back to our inner thought life, where the spiritual battle continues to rage on.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” Philippians 4:8.
I believe that it is possible, with God, to overcome. Change is possible. Transformation is possible. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2.