This year is ending with a renewed awareness that my thought default is a dark and frightening place where every terrible thing has already happened. Why? Once bit, twice shy?
I would love to find a new knee jerk, but for now I have what I have. And I do, what I do, inch by inch, step by step, mile by mile…. (sorry, just watched Cabaret. Golly I love the choreography).
So what it is that I have to do, inch by inch, step by step is to re-route my thoughts.
It’s hard work doing this every day, several times a day. Oh sure, there are days when I roll out of bed knowing my feet will only touch the path laid out for me by God’s grace. Summer is definitely easier. But here in the winter I have to be reminded. Like Peter, I look around at dark waves, and I sink.
So how am I brought out of my fears and into daylight? What do I need to make this happen?
Scripture. Lots of Scripture. I need to be reminded of what God has done in the past, and what he promises for the future.
Worship. I need to pray, a lot. And I need to be with other people and worship together. Something different happens when you worship in a group instead of alone. I don’t know what it is, but it happens. I need to do this more often.
Be kind to myself and others. If we are “God’s hands” when we help each other, then surely we are God’s hands when we are kind to ourselves. That doesn’t mean buying myself anything I want because “I deserve it,” or having my way because “I deserve to be happy.” Loving myself means not calling myself names, it means showing myself grace and caring for my physical needs. AND doing the same for others. Some people (like me) struggle more with being nice to ourselves than to others. But we must do both. God loves me, I should love me, too. And you!
One day my grim mindset won’t be a struggle for me. One day hope will be sight. Likely that day will be in Heaven. But meanwhile, I am not alone, even in my thoughts. God has given us a comforter, the Holy Spirit, who leads us. And so inch by inch, step by step, mile by mile… year by year we press on. Happy New Year, my friends!
Bye bye 2014! It was a fine affair but now it’s over…