Something New

I don’t know about you but there are times when I’m in conflict that I forget to really listen to what is being said to me. Especially if it’s a rehash of something that has happened before. Oh I try to pay attention because I understand that what is going on is important but as often as not the mind starts to wander and then the old tapes start to play. You know how that goes when you are trying to guess which part is going to come next or you’re formulating your response in you head and just waiting for an opening that never comes.

But it’s important to pay attention because sure enough just when you think nothing new is happening bam it does. This happened to me just the other day. I thought I knew where a conversation was going when something new happened. I was told that I am emotionally unavailable. I’m glad I was paying attention.

This was something that I didn’t understand. I thought about it for awhile trying to figure out just what was meant by that. Finally I did what any reasonable person does when faced by a new term that sounds ambiguous and bad at the same time. I googled it.

Well that was a good call. There is an abundance of information on this topic and it runs through a spectrum of thoughtful commentary to vitriolic hate. A lot of it seemed like afternoon TV man bashing to be honest but as I read more and more a core of truth started to reveal itself to me. I’m not going to go into detail about what the term emotionally unavailable means because that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to see how this applies to me and the ongoing battle for my mind.

So the question remains am I emotionally unavailable? You’d think this was an easy question to answer but like most things in life it’s more complicated than that. The answer is both yes and no. A lot of being emotionally unavailable has to do with a lack of commitment to relationships and I don’t think that applies to me. But where I find myself answering yes is the part where I hide myself emotionally from people. I am very guarded with my feelings and I usually keep them to myself.

As I continued to think about this I asked myself a question I like to avoid whenever possible. I asked myself why. Why do I keep my feelings to myself? I mean I have them I just keep them hidden inside never to be shared with anybody else. I think Worthless is at work here once again. Why would anybody care how you feel anyway he’d ask. Feelings are dumb just squash them he’d tell me. Or here is one of his favorites if you share that feeling it’ll come back to get you. You’re just giving out the ammunition that everyone needs to attack you.

As I read the tweets and blogs and articles over the past week or so I saw over and over the hurt caused by people doing just what I’d been doing. I never occurred to me how hurtful not sharing feelings could be both to myself and to those that I claim to love and care about. There is good news though. Being emotionally unavailable is not a medical condition it is something you learn. That being so it can also be unlearned and so I am on the path of unlearning.

To those of you that I’ve hurt in the past by doing this I apologize. Mostly I say this to the important women in my life. To my mom, my sister, my daughters, and my wife I’m sorry.

If you’re doing this yourself I implore you to think about how your actions are hurting those around you. Be honest with yourself and get help if you need it. I can overcome this and so can you.

His favorite meal

So we’ve been talking about the battle going on for supremacy in my mind. You know the one between Worthless and Worthwhile. As I think about these things I think I’ve figured out what is Worthless’s favorite meal. I mean that thing that really fills his belly and keeps him going all day long.

I’m not talking now about the kind of doubt we need in our lives. You know the kind of doubt that keeps us out of harms way. That’s really just using good judgement to discern an unsafe situation or circumstance. No I’m talking about the kind of doubt that stops you in your tracks and keeps you from trying to do something with your life. This is the meal that makes Worthless strong.

I don’t know about you but lived a life that’s been crushed with doubt. I’ve doubted myself over and over again. I look back on my life and see so many coulda shoulda’s that it makes me sick. Even now I sit here with my iPad in front of me writing these words and I doubt. “Why bother “,Worthless says, “nobody’s going to read this and if they do nobody cares”.

But you know what that’s not the point. This isn’t about who’s reading it’s about who’s writing. Simply putting these thoughts down here is defeating doubt. I know that I can do this but knowing is only the beginning. In order to take the battle in the direction that I need it to go I’ve actually got to do it.

If there is something in your life that you know that you can do and that you ought to be doing I encourage you to get started. I heard once that there are two great times to plant a tree. The first is fifty years ago the next is today. It’s not to late to get started on whatever it is. Do it for yourself with passion and the rest will follow.

What kind of ally are you?

I’ve been thinking about my last post. You know the one about the battle going on between Worthless and Worthwhile for my life. It really is an all out war with neither side giving an inch without a fight.

When there’s a war going on what is it that both sides are looking for? Everybody’s looking for allies that’s what. The same thing is true in this one. Worthless and Worthwhile are both looking for allies to help in their continuing struggle. It’s my job in this conflict to seek out the right people to give the edge to the side I want to see victorious.

There are powerful supernatural forces at work on both sides of this conflict but I don’t really want to talk about those right now. I’ll save that for another post. I would rather talk about people. I’d like you to think about what kind of ally you are to the people around you. I wonder what kind of ally I am to the people in my life.

Do I build up or do I tear down? Am I there for you when you need me or am I indifferent to your plight? Am I generous with the gifts and resources that I have been given or am I a miser that holds out?

I believe we all have an internal struggle going on. Most of us are seeking allies to help us. We have opportunities daily to impact the lives of the people around us with the words we say and the things we do. As important as that are the things we don’t say or do. The paradox here is that even when we choose to do or say nothing we are still having an impact. Inaction is still action.

Heavenly Father help me to see people with your eyes. Help me to remember that each person is precious in your sight. Help me to be kind to those that need kindness, loving to those that need love. Put your words in my mouth when I am speaking. You have called me to be light and salt. Help me to be that to those around me. Fill my heart with boldness to proclaim the Good News of your plan through your son Jesus.

Amen

 

Now what do I do?

So I started this blog a couple of months ago and made one post. After that I haven’t really done anything with it. I sat down a bunch of times and started a post but nothing I had to say seemed to be very important or meaningful. After thinking about that for a while I have come to the conclusion that at the root of it I don’t think I have much value. That’s just not right.

I’ve been told that there are two competing natures inside of me, really inside of all of us. These go by various names. You’ve heard them. Light vs dark, good vs bad and so on. A good preacher once explained it to me like this. There are two pit bulls inside of you that are fighting for control and the one that wins is the one you feed.

I think that my two pit bulls finally have names. I’m going to call  them Worthless and Worthwhile. These two have been fighting over me for a long time and I’ve made sure that they both get their portion. In fact if I’m going to be honest and there is no reason to be writing this at all if I’m not Worthless probable gets more than his fair share. He’s like a weed able to take the nourishment from even healthy events. Worthless can get fed by so many different things and he’s a thief. He’ll take Worthwhile’s chow any time he can.

So I’m going to use this blog to feed Worthwhile  I’m going to come here and say things that I think are important. I’m going to tell you when I’m feeding Worthless and try to take his food away. Me and Worthwhile are taking the fight to Worthless and this time things are going to be different.

 

Welcome to my blog

I’d have to say that my life has changed a lot over the last couple of years. One of the biggest changes has my return to school. Since last fall I’ve been attending EBI. Which stands for Equip Bible Institute. I’ll include a link to their website at the end of this post.

We meet every Tuesday at 6 pm for a 2 hour class. The first semester was called Old Testament survey 1. Last semester was Old Testament survey 2. Take a wild guess what the fall semester class is.

We’ll be reading, discussing, and writing about the prophets during Old Testament survey 3. The winter semester will be the leadership module and we will follow that withNew Testament surveys.

Our professor is Dr. Steve Cleghorn. Dr. Cleghorn is a veteran pastor with over 40 years of ministry experience. His lectures are fast paced and interesting. His knowledge is extensive and he is always willing to take students questions and answer them fully as a part of his lecture.

Classes will begin again the first Tuesday of September. If you or anybody you know is interested in furthering their education and wants to know more of God’s word I encourage you to consider attending. Classes are affordable. You can contact me through the contact link above and I will provide any additional information that you might need.

Here is the link that I promised you earlier:

http://www.shadowmountain.org/EBI