- Old Wounds
- Bad Habits
- Lack of Plan
- Lack of “Fuel” for Dreams
How To Leap
- Descab, administer balm, cover – protect what needs protecting while it heals.
- Practice optimism – find at least one thing I can consistently embrace as producing/providing substantive hope.
- Practice hope – commit to my source of hope.
- Pick one – change one bad habit at a time – replace with a good habit.
- Drink more water, less coffee; eat more fruits & veggies; exercise at least 20 mins. every day; sleep well.
- Plan to plan – make a habit of making plans, little ones that I can accomplish, build on each plan, even if I don’t have a “big enough” dream; just get in the habit of dreaming, planning, and doing, no matter how small.
- Pray. My dreams are born only of sense of purpose. Find my purpose through prayer. Do this first, every day.
- Pray for daily purpose.
- Make a detailed plan for accomplishing something(s) to fulfill that purpose.
- Eat and exercise for long-term health and today’s fuel.
- Incorporate one specific good habit that eradicates a bad habit.
- Be grateful. Thank God for everything. Especially for Christ’s trustworthiness.
- Share a smile: articulate my gratitude. Write or make something that shares my joy.
- Affirm my need for time, space, and means to heal.
Recognizing my wounds and weaknesses is not enough. I can too easily fall into despair when contemplating my own frailty and insufficiency. Thankfully I have faith. And it’s deep. And it’s old. I thank God for the gift of faith, a faith that is deep & wide, old & new, mine & communal, here & transcendent, universal & specifically manifested in Christ.
Thanks be to God!
This morning I am reflecting on how debilitating my propensity to depression can be. But faith is stronger. I wouldn’t be here without faith: a sense of the rightness of hope in general, and my faith in Christ specifically.
I imagine many (most?) of my readers are not Christians, or wouldn’t describe their faith experiences the same way I do. That’s fine with me. And I’m not preaching here. I am not attempting to persuade anyone to think or feel or believe like I do. I am simply enjoying the luxury of articulating my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs!
One of my foundational perceptions of reality is that within a general truth there are specific truths that express that general truth in delightfully unique ways. This view of Truth can be beautifully symbolized by a hallmark of great music: melody implies harmony and harmony implies melody. The point here is that my experience and understanding of Faith in Christ is that most belief-systems have a kernel of Truth, and by God’s bountiful Grace, all those little truths point to The Truth Who is fully manifested in Christ. Anyone seeking Truth will eventually find Christ. Some journeys are more circuitous, some have many detours, but God honors all seekers with finding, and ultimately all finding draws us nearer to Christ. That’s because Christ is the Logos, Christ is the Author of Truth; God created all that Is in, through, with, and for Christ. And the purpose of it all is Love. We, and all God created, are essentially Celebration of God’s Love!
Personally, my journey with Christ reveals not only God’s amazing Grace – God’s generosity toward everyone, but also the cost: letting go of anything that deforms me… in my view, the door to Heaven is open to everyone, and it has a shape: Christ. I must become conformed to Christ to fit through Heaven’s door! However, again, this isn’t accomplished primarily by my effort. It is mostly brought about through Grace, by birth of the Spirit. Yet, it does require my consent. And every day, every little thing I choose or don’t choose is assent to or dissent from Christ who faithfully calls me.
So how does this relate to my lists noted above?
I find myself floundering in this phase of “mid-life”. (It’s rather fanciful to call it MID life because I’d have to live beyond 100 years if this were my life’s mid-point!) Regardless, it’s a new stage of life, it’s new psychological territory, and I find it requires new dreams. I tend to think that I have more interior resources than most from which to generate strong dreams, but I have been able to rely on and travel so very far on a simple vision (of being a musician and teacher) that its challenging to birth another, sufficiently equal to it. In other words, I’m currently stuck in a feeling of disappointment: the world was so much bigger when I was younger. The world seems so much smaller now, and frankly, I don’t like it as much as I used to! I believe I need to find a “new” dream, a sense of purpose for the next 30 years. I need to find an even deeper sense of Living in which I can fall in Love with Life.
That’s what “it’s all about” for me: Loving Life. Giving myself to Becoming. I.e. letting God birth me, ever more fully, ever more alive. And the primary birth-canal for me is prayer. So, today’s plan for “How to Leap” over my hurdles must start with prayer.
Thanks be to God!
The Race of Faith
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12: 1-2, NKJV)