When I’m alone with my thoughts, I’m aware of my sadness. Contrary to what society tells us sometimes being sad is not something to avoid. My feelings are the dashboard lights to my mind. Just like the “oil change” light means it’s time to get the car’s oil changed, my “sad” light means, well, I’m sad. There’s nothing wrong with my car. There’s nothing “wrong” with me. It’s just regular ‘ol maintenance.
I could choose to ignore the light. But then my car’s performance is effected. And important car parts – like the engine – suffer. When I ignore my “sad” light my so called performance is effected… my relationships are strained, my energy level is low, my decision making isn’t so sharp.
I could try to fix the oil change light… Maybe it’s a faulty fuse that’s making the light come on? Or I could put a piece of duct tape over the light? I could try to stay busy. I could drink a margarita – or four. Or I could address what needs attention… that’s the purpose of warning lights after all.
Some shit went down the past few weeks. As my dear friend put it, “It seems to me that God is wanting to deal with how you feel about your past in an “in your face” way.”
I made some poor decisions that directly impacted Drey when he was just a kid. I was trying to get my needs met apart from God. Kinda like trying to fix the warning light on the dashboard instead of doing the real work of addressing the root issue. We all do this but some of us do it in a more outwardly, visible way – for all to see. So in addition to dealing with the natural consequences of my man-made “fix,” I get the added benefit of perceived public shame. I assume the worst is said about me…. Thoughts like, “It’s no wonder her son killed himself,” bounce around in my mind.
I don’t have these thoughts about my friends. I have these thoughts about people I respect who don’t know how I’ve let God change me. I have these thoughts about people from my past who only know the “old me.” I want to prove myself to them. Wtf?
I’ve thought a lot about J these past few weeks. J is someone who tried to get his needs met apart from God. And others know of his choices. Does he ever feel a need to prove he’s a changed man now? If he does, he sure doesn’t show it. If anything he’d probably say he’s just as incapable of any good thing as ever. It’s only because he consciously chooses to live out of his new identity in Christ that he’s been freed from many of his “old ways.” He doesn’t seem to let others potential opinion of him keep him self-focused or shameful. Just the opposite… He’s humbly thrilled to present himself as a broken man desperately in need of Christ. It’s very inspiring. Very freeing. Yes, the freedom of self-forgetfulness.
Sometimes it’s good to consider past choices – specifically when they’re impacting your current “performance.” So this morning I consider them. And I pray. And I genuinely feel gratitude for ALL of Christ’s finished work. I laugh at myself and put the “shit choices” right back in the “shit pile.” I look forward to seeing God face to face, getting a new name specifically chosen just for me by Him, and watching that shit pile go up in flames!