What’s Been Bothering You Lately? (Getting Clear and Specific…)


Feeling agitated and uneasy, though increasingly more and more common, is not a human being’s natural state of mind. Troubling and distressing thoughts eat away at our physical health and erode our sense of well being. Stress, which is typically first experienced in the mind, has been known to critically damage the delicate nervous system and even has the capacity to eventually kill its owner!  Agitation and unrest do not come from God as His admonition is just the opposite. So, what can you do if you find yourself besieged with troubling thoughts?

The first clue, in the puzzle of agitation, is to get clear about exactly what it is that is bothering you. In living life, you will discover that unrest begets more unrest and agitation more agitation. It’s like losing a fight. The greater the barrage of punches, the harder it is to fight back. Your job is first to get yourself quiet on the inside. Go somewhere alone, calm yourself down and get quiet on the inside. Do some serious thinking about your perceived problem. Can you identify what it is? You will find, in your honesty and your earnest, that most of the troubling possibilities exist not today, but in some future state. Therein is your next clue! Possibilities that threaten you or brashly proclaim the potential to take something from your life, are just thoughts which have no power of themselves. Their power is gained by your consideration and acceptance of those rogue ideas. Once the water of your mind becomes troubled, it becomes very difficult to see the bottom of the pool, i.e. the source of your difficulties. Step one is always to get very, very  clear about whatever is bothering you. Real issues have a solution or some action you can take about them. Phantom issues (fear) require elimination from your thoughts.

The next remedy is found in specificity. The problems that confront us are generally full of tentacles, blending and enfolding together, making it hard if not impossible to discern where one part starts and another part ends. The devil thrives in convolution. Complexity intimidates us and in our diminished state we mash it all together in our minds, leaving it to be dealt with on another day. Often, after you’ve removed all of the red herrings, the real issue becomes quite clear. Focused thought is a powerful ally, but requires a willingness both to confront and subsequently take action on the problem at hand! There is no tomorrow in problem solving. Each day spent half-in, is a wasted day, appearing useful, but defeated before it began. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways!” Get specific about what is troubling you, as specific as you can be. Specific problems have specific solutions, while vague, convoluted problems have no end!

Once you’ve become crystal clear on the topic and precise in your identification, you must do the one thing you never dreamed you should do. Give your problem to God! That’s right, hand it over to Him. Release your death grip on it and remove its claws from your heart. Demand the courage to let it go. Look, if you’re honest, the reason you continue to wrestle with some unseen foe is precisely because of that, it remains unseen. If you knew the answer you would have already remedied it. The deception isn’t found in the assault on your mind, but rather the ongoing assaults as you try in earnest to figure it out. Some conundrums, some complexities you are never going to figure out. You’re chasing the rabbit down a rabbit hole that has no end point. The source of your troubles is always a spiritual opponent; one that depends upon your reliance on your own human reasoning. Once you finally get it, as a great man said recently, you get it! You at last begin to understand that you must fight your spiritual opponent with something bigger than your human brain. Prayers are God’s way of offering you help with things bigger than yourself. And best of all, with God, nothing is impossible!

The reason we allow ourselves to get so worried and troubled about things in life is because we have forgotten how to trust our Creator! Instead of following His original plan of living our lives freely, joyfully, giving all of our cares to Him, we have instead hewed ourselves out cisterns; broken cisterns that can hold no water. We have systems and plans and procedures. We have technology and information and science. We have almost all a person could ask for, yet we lack the one thing we need the most! Our life was never meant to be a futile effort in self-preservation. God never asked us to figure everything out for ourselves or to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. People made that crap up; the same ones filled with worries and anxiety and stress! Instead God asks only that we learn who He truly is and begin to understand who we are to Him. Once we see the big picture, the troubles of life fade away like the lies and threats they have always been. Getting to know your Heavenly Father ends in your realization that there is nothing in life bigger than Him, smarter than Him or more powerful than Him. Then, my friend, you can finally relax. You can end the game of “wits end” once and for all.

If you find yourself worried, harassed, perplexed or vexed, take solace in this, God will hear your prayers and lead you to your solution. Your worry and stress simply won’t get the job done and you already know that. Your mental churning and broiling, your thinking, analyzing and thinking won’t lead you to the answer. Instead, hand all of it over to God and when you realize you’ve taken it back, hand it over again! The solutions to problems don’t appear in stormy seas, but only when the waters are calm. Let God calm your waters so you can see! Let God do for you what you cannot do for yourself! Rest…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

Who Is Your God, Anyway?


th06-openpage-cart_1985044fAs I live this life, I’m consistently faced with many things that cause me to scratch my head, but nothing perplexes me more than the believers who don’t believe. I should add, I recognize there are more viewpoints concerning God than there is sand on the seashore, but one common grain sticks out every time. People just do not believe, it seems, in God’s capacity to actually help them in their lives. They pray prayers not to get a tangible answer, but instead to soothe some psychological need or something. They follow rules of conduct or practice morality not to enjoy a positive result, but in order to hopefully escape some negative possibility. They attend meetings not for encouragement or enlightenment, but to punch tickets during spiritual labor-day. It just seems so arduous and pointless. What good is your God if He lives a billion miles from you, unable and unwilling to help you with the smallest of details of your life? What’s the point of all of your hard works and sacrifices you do for your God, when at any moment He can pull the rug out on you for no apparent reason at all? Why even call Him your Father if He would do less for you than any earthly daddy would do? Why people, why?

If there is one thing that annoys the holy bejesus out of me it is going through the motions. It’s like hanging out with people you don’t enjoy. It’s like laughing at jokes that actually offend you. It’s saying bad food is tasty and asking for seconds. It’s all ritual and acting and hypocrisy. So, why would anyone participate in that foolishness? Usually it’s because of some fear or some rejection or some nebulous loss occurring. And, people do that very same thing with God. Instead of taking their shoes off and talking turkey with God, they reform their language to sound holy and dole out false platitudes before ever getting to anything real. And when they get to something real they add so many qualifiers that it’s probably hard for God to follow along 😉 (if it be thy will, if thou wilt have time, if you’re okay with me having that, etc…). I have to tell you folks, something is wrong with that picture. I aint being critical of your beliefs, because I know someone taught you that stuff, I’m just asking you to rethink your shenanigans. If God is who He says He is, then I’m pretty sure He can see through all of our crapola. If He could create an entire world and all the life forms, it seems He might be able to fix something for you once in a while. If He is everywhere present, seems you shouldn’t have to look up to find Him, nor assume any posture neither go to any location to speak with Him. If He’s your actual Father, seems like there wouldn’t be much He wouldn’t do to help you if He could and reportedly there’s nothing He cannot do! You see what I’m saying? Something is amiss…

Just by sheer logic, and I mean down to the guts of the matter, there ought to be some grand benefit to being God’s kid; in being a believer. If there is no benefit, why in God’s name should anyone choose it? Why would I spend time bestowing the virtues of God to you if God never did anything good for me? That’s not being sacrilegious, that’s being honest. Why would you tell someone you will pray for them while they’re sick if you don’t believe God will heal? Why should you teach your kids about God if they get nothing out of the relationship but maybe a promise of a one-way ticket to heaven someday? Sure heaven is most appealing, but what about today? Look, it has to be a helluva lot bigger than that, don’t you think? The way most people believe God and who they think God is, if it were me, I would have chucked Him in a long time ago!

Well good people, that is not who God is, at all… God is everything you ever hoped He would be and then some! He ardently desires a relationship with you, not for you to prove something to Him, but to allow Him to prove something to you. He doesn’t want your rituals and your rigmarole anymore than you would want that from your children. Your behavior before Him and whether or not you sin was never His issue. You were born into this world dead in trespasses and sins and there’s nothing you can do by your own works; your foolish, pointless works, to fix that! All your focus on sin and mistakes does nothing more than to talk you into doubting who He is and what He will do, for you…

The real reason you never see Him in action or get to enjoy His goodness is because of one thing and only one thing ~ you don’t believe Him. I don’t mean believe “in” Him, I mean literally believe Him. Believing, true believing, is the polar opposite of going through the motions. It is the north when play acting a role is south. It’s getting good and damn serious about getting your prayers answered! It’s about an intimate relationship with your Father who is closer than your very breath. It is a reliance on Him opposing a reliance on yourself. You can be a self-made man if you want, but how is that working out for you thus far? Life is big and serious and tricky folks and you were never designed to do it all alone. You never want your God to be yourself.

God in His unending grace and overflowing mercy doesn’t expect much from you at all really. But, one thing He does require is that you believe; as in flat-out, no questioning, no doubt; assured of a good outcome, peaceful, quiet believing. Your prayers are a conversation with Him, not a monologue or a speech. He knows the answer to your question and is most pleased to share it with you, if you believe He can and will. He, alone, made that body you inhabit and He can fix any part of it at any time without a doctor or a medication. There is no incurable with God! Sometimes your problems have developed over a long time, in much error, like gum deeply matted in the fur of your dog. And for you and your hair’s sake, it may take a little time to extricate you from your troubles. But, be assured, the repair was underway from the very first time you voiced your dilemma to Him.  God loves everything about you, both big and small and has something great for you no matter the size of your issue. That is who God is folks and why He is everything you could ever want Him to be!

Do yourself a huge favor in this short life and stop searching for some mysterious cause or some silly behavior you need to fix and learn rather how and what to believe. Your work; your real work is to convince your stubborn, human noggin to believe what God says over and above what it looks like. And when you learn how to do that, you will find that God is exactly who He said He is… Then, you will love Him with all that you are not because you are supposed to, but because it’s your only logical, thankful response to Him for all that He is doing for you!

Just believe baby, believe…

Just some good thoughts…