Saturday, August 18, 2012

TURN THE FREAKIN' KNOB!

So I woke up this morning in a state my highly regarded and notable medical background (meaning none whatsoever), would call “bummed out”.

There are a myriad of reasons why this could be— I counted ten things which were bothering me. Six were out of my control. Three probably weren't worth my thoughts. Only one required action on my part. But that really isn't my point here. Just understand I woke up this morning bummed out.

Interestingly, I started reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield this week, which is about overcoming what I would call “depressive moments of frustration” and he calls “resistance” in the process of creating. Although Pressfield does acknowledge these feelings as legitimate, and there are forces in the universe stronger than we are, the fundamental difference between the amateur and the professional is the ability to cope and carry on.

When Steve Martin wrote his book Shopgirl, in which one of the central characters was clinically depressed, he asked a female friend to explain the experience. She told him it was like having the flu, in that everyday tasks from getting out of bed to cleaning house were arduous and seemed almost impossible.

This is resistance. And it can be palpable beyond imagination.

So I had been lying on the couch in my completely filthy living room (nothing adds to a state of depression better than staring at your own filth) for about two hours this morning, considering my options in regards to how to get over this funk. I thought about going outside and reading my Bible (natural sunlight and theological wisdom never hurt anyone, I don’t suppose, even in Houston August). I was considering taking a walk through my neighborhood (exercise increases endorphins—and would give me some alone time with God—again, even in Houston August). I was even considering cleaning my house (shocking). And then I checked my email.

It appeared one of my concerns could be easily checked off my worry list. That one gave me way to remove three more, at least for now. And strangely that’s all I needed to move.  

Just a little bit of encouragement.

Conversely, why do I need tangible evidence of my significance in the world from others to get me moving? In a nutshell this is what prevents me from achieving greatness: allowing the world “open access” to control my feelings.   

So I read my Bible, out in the backyard, in the Texas sweltering heat for a whopping seven minutes. I decided to start reading the New Testament one chapter at a time daily, pondering the small section of Its glory and perhaps writing and journaling (i.e. blogging) from there. Today was Matthew One, which is the genealogy of Jesus.

I used to wonder about the purpose of those genealogies which appear throughout the Bible. As a kid it appeared redundant to make a list of all those people. Yeah, we know: they were Jesus’ relatives. That’s pretty significant. Congrats, again your name will appear in a New York Times best seller.

After you’re dead and no longer care.

But I missed the point entirely.

Consider those names. You have Isaac, whose children were in fierce competition for his love. Jacob, who after manipulating his brother, ends up manipulated several times by his father-in-law. Boaz, the son of a prostitute who married Ruth the Moab, who, if you know anything about Moabs, you know they were not exactly “God’s chosen people”. Ruth and Boaz ended up the great grandparents to King David, who is the father of Solomon, whose mother was the wife of Uriah, a man King David more or less had assassinated for the purpose of taking his wife. Solomon, who perhaps falls in love when he might shouldn’t (for more on this read I Kings 11:1-4), but still continues a line which will eventually lead to Jesus Christ Himself.

So my point is this: in the words of Gary Thomas: “Christian keep running”. It isn’t about the past or what you did or didn’t do. It’s about overcoming. It’s about being a better person today than you were yesterday.

It’s about knowing the only people who don’t make mistakes are the people who never try.

It’s about realizing the saying “When God shuts a door he opens a window” is lame. If a door is shut, it’s just shut. TURN THE FREAKIN’ KNOB!

It’s about accepting we will experience resistance, but we must still endure. The trick is figuring out how.

May whatever challenges you are experiencing today lead to a path of both accomplishment and greater fulfillment tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. Love this post. And I love how the geneology tells us that at the end of all this sin and scandal, there is HOPE. Jesus came because of our sin, our brokenness, our hopelessness--not because of our glory. He came to peel us off the couch when we couldn't get up on our own.

    Can't wait to see what's next.

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  2. Can't wait for your book Karen! I want a first edition signed copy from the accomplished author ;) Good blog! As you know I am struggling with taking that next step of service and leadership and "turning the freakin' knob!" Thanks for the post.

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