Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Friday, March 24, 2006

Not All Gloom And Doom

One of my friends (who also happens to read my blog) sent me an e-mail..." between your job, the youth ministry, losing your cat ... and the disappointment that was the ladies retreat ...This has not been your year!Be thankful this isn't groundhog day."
I had to laugh and reassure her on the phone that although all these things had happened to me, I wasn't nearly as gloomy as the blog sounded - I use my blog for ranting, for the catharsis I experience by putting those emotions out there. That is not to say I haven't been distressed by those events, but I have found solace and encouragement from my blog readers by sharing these things. Sometimes I don't even need anyone to personally respond to my ranting - I am writing for me, sort of a release from carrying around a burden that I'm afraid to dump on another person. Once it was "off my chest", I am free to point folks to this blog and invite them to read it for themselves. I don't have to relive the pain during the re-telling of the negative experience.
Hmmm, perhaps there is an important spiritual principle at work here. Maybe this an application of 1 Peter 5:7 about "casting all your anxiety on the Lord." As Christians, we know that we should "cast it all on Him", but how often do we "reel it all back in, again and again" as soon as we're done with the casting. I have decided that it is sufficient for my emotional well-being to put these traumas out there in my blog and not keep dwelling on the story over and over to get "through it". (An aside: I somewhat view my blog the same way I view my journal -it's first and foremost a dialogue between God and me that I happen to allow people to peek in on. Realize though, I exercise a huge amount of discretion in what actually is published and therefore this blog lacks the intimate communication one would actually find in the non-public "diary".)
I know quite a few people who are "stuck" in the bad thing that happened to them years ago. Somewhere along the line, they made a choice to keep living in the moment of their pain; they retell the story again and again, perhaps hoping that the next time it is shared, the pain will go away (or that the outcome would be different). That's what I mean about reeling it back in after casting -I'm not saying you never think about it again (that would be ridiculous, even if it were possible) - but it means instead to keep trusting the One "who is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." Changing the metaphor a bit, it's like the child having buried the seed who keeps digging it up to see if it's growing.
As I finished the phone call with my friend, she remarked that she was relieved that I sounded much more hopeful than I did in the blog. I am glad too, but probably even more so that Groundhog Day was just a movie and not my life.

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