Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can You Tell What I Believe?

I'm going from reading a beautiful and rather soothing book, The Noticer, to reading a book that is so direct and caustic in tone that the author, Larry Winget, is described as "the pit bull of personal development". You might ask if I'm crazy for selecting his book to read or if I just have a mini death wish. But it's for the very fact that I don't want to be crazy or at all unstable or imbalanced that I deliberately choose books to read that are outside of my comfort zone.

It's good for me to not have everything delivered to me on a silver platter. (But if I could have Tea and toast with marmalade, delivered to me on a silver platter once a week, I'd take it in a heartbeat!). And if Truth needs to come at me disguised in tough words and sharp, straight shooting observations, so be it. The main thing is that you get more and more of the truth; that your eyes get opened, that light and revelation come.

Everyone knows that famous speech Martin Luther King Jr. gave, "I Have a Dream"- but not everyone knows what your particular dream is- do they? Everyone has a dream. Even the most placid and methodical of us have a dream deep inside- even if they don't think they do.

Some people just have a dream that they will one day be free from anxiety. Some people have a dream of something more concrete- like owning a BMW Convertible. Both those dreams sound good to me, but one of them is more crucial to a prosperous life- and it isn't the dream of the BMW. You can live without a BMW but you can't live with anxiety and fear choking the life out of you. That is not living it up. That is not the abundant life.

Just the subtitle of this book makes me remember the truth that we, as humans, sometimes sabotage ourselves- though we forget that truth, ignore that truth, or rebel against the thought of it being true. And I think self-sabotage might come from the root of not wanting to love yourself. To really love and care for your soul, you have to free yourself to receive God's goodness and to believe His promises of provision and care. You can't have a bent in you that rejects good- even if its at a tiny almost invisible level.

My best friend, Mu, and I chatted by phone yesterday morning and we wound up discussing mental health and the battle that today's Christian has to not only hold his or her steadfast convicitions, but to also live this abundant life Christ talked about. And to live an abundant life you have to be healthy in your spirit. "Out of you shall flow rivers of living water" Christ said, but sometimes instead its rivers of tears and weeping over what troubles us, what we're anxious about, what assails our spirit and makes us unwell.

For all the proclamations we Christians make about God's Love, and God Bless You, and Thank God, and God is Good- we really might not be believers- true believers- of these statements. Whether we are real believers of these truths will show up in not only what we give to others of ourselves, but in what we are willing to receive- directly from the hand of God, and from the hand of God expressed through others.

Lately I care very little about details of doctrine, and I am caring much more about the reality of what I believe as it is expressed in not only my words and actions but in my thought life and mind-peace in particular. This is my latest thought- that the best witness I can be for the reality of Christ in me, the Hope of Glory- is that troubled people, anxious people, worried people (and I think there's a lot of them in this world, don't you?) that these people, if they were hanging out with me for a day, would say that their experience with me resonated with grace, peace, soundness of mind, healthiness of spirit.

This experience I'm having with knowing the reality of the peace and grace of God so concretely that I am healthy in my emotions and thinking- this experience is powerful. It's powerful not just because it is Abundance, it is Strength all the way to my bones- but it's powerful because it touches others. It can cause a ripple effect that surges into waves of blessing. It's powerful because a healthy mind at peace and at rest is going to wind up being sought after and prized more than having a convertible or a million dollars.

That's what I'm thinking today. Do you see what I'm talking about here? I'd love to know your thoughts.

And may your thoughts today be sound and healthy and stayed on Him.


Beth said...

I feel like you were speaking to me! My oldest dd suffers from anxiety..not medicated but oh so obvious... (she was medicated for a short time in HS but took herself off because "mom I can't laugh or cry" Tears are streaming right now... I try oh so hard to be calm and peaceful around them but sometimes I just can't! They drive me nuts... My youngest also has anxiety issues... like today... we had a possible Swine Flu case reported in our state and she is worried about getting it.. Anyway...I know I have to work harder at having them say that their experience with me "resonated with grace, peace, soundness of mind, healthiness of spirit." Thanks for this post... Also I am going to go check out the Noticer...sounds intriguing!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

You're a good mom, Beth! You be their guide to what (Who) will stabilize them. Breathe in His powerful peace- and let them see you smile.