Pete Wilson said something that just rocked my world yesterday. I’m sure I myself have said it before and have most definitely learned it at some point, but it never clicked with me like it did yesterday.
For people like me who spend a lot of time in their own head and think a lot….sometimes thoughts can stray and end up in places you never wanted your mind to travel too. I struggle with my thought life and for me there is this constant feeling of guilt and frustration that I allowed myself to go there in a thought. However, Pete mentioned that “not only does God know every thought you have had in the past, but he knows thoughts and words that have not even been conceived in your mind nor uttered off of your tongue.” WOW, God already knows the thoughts and words I will speak, the mistakes I will make, and he still loves me……playing off of a statement Pete said, “Your value and worth will never depreciate in God’s eyes.”
Tonight I was at crosspoint and Pete shared this message entitled “empty promises.” There was this one train of thought that rocked my world. He discussed the idea that a lot of 22 and 23 year olds are feeling the pressure, depression, anxiety and frustrations that come along with a “mid-life” crisis. Yet they (I) am so young and there is no reason to be experiencing these pressures at our age. Pete said that the reason is because “our society has become so performance driven.”
I finally feel that I can put into words the thing that has been bothering me; I have made success and credit my idols. I have this huge desire to succeed and be known. As Pete pointed out; some idols are not necessarily bad things, “but left unchecked can become trouble in our life.” I always feel like I have to succeed and that time is ticking away, that life is passing me by. Some of it I get from seeing these young actors, singers, etc… on tv just soaring to these lavish titles and positions.
I want to be successful and I would like to be famous or well known, but are these desires of the flesh? I feel like my desire to succeed when put in the right context and for the purpose of the kingdom is a good thing, but to desire to be famous…not so much. Erwin McManus once asked, “do you want to be famous or do you want to be great?” What’s the line? I see all these famous faces on tv and I want to roll with them and live like they do. This is my confession, I think I have lost track of what life is really about. I don’t know, I hope that by working through this with God through prayer I can discover the true meaning of GREAT. I pray that through Pete’s series, this blog, prayer with God, prayer from friends/family, support from you all…I can discover how to get out of this crisis, how to balance success and allow God to work on my heart when it comes to fame.
There is a scene in the movie “cop out” where Tracy Morgan is pretending to be “the falsely accused victim” in order to get information out of the bad guy, he even goes so far as to quote every action movie he can possibly think of. His character isn’t a very good “victim” in this scene and resorts to playing other people and personalities that are not his own. this scene is absolutely hilarious but strikes a nerve for me today. Earlier today I was called out by a close mentor, he said that sometimes I play into the “victim mentality.” Sometimes I feel that I don’t know what else to do so I start quoting and saying what everyone else who is frustrated and upset about their job is saying. I too don’t play the “victim” very well.
Sometimes the job we are working, bosses, pay, etc… suck, but does it give us the excuse to complain and whine about it? Sometimes we need to be humbled, and other times we simply need to stop complaining and do something about it. At this point I have played the “victim” long enough. I haven’t decided how to handle frustrations at work, I’m not sure if I should try to find a different career right now, or if I should stick it out for a few months. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a deep breath, sit back, and remember it’s not all about me….I am gonna pray, I hope you’ll pray with me for wisdom and guidance in my career choices.
I have a dirty little secret. I love the new “Love the way you lie” song by eminem. Inside the lyrics there is a concept that pain is addicting.
When I was a freshman in college I found myself completely depressed I would call friends and family in tears, completely broken. I ended up going to talk to the campus counselor seeking help. Through our discussions, she made a statement that to this day rocks my world. She explained to me that “Pain and suffering can become addicting.”
Depression, pain and suffering can become such an addicting companion that we have trouble letting them go. There is almost this sick pleasure of embracing them at some points. Really it seems crazy, but put simply put, it becomes an addiction. One way to combat depression is exercise, another is simply letting light into dark rooms. Sometimes you embrace depression so much that you find yourself purposely leaving the blinds shut to embrace the pain and agony, because it fills voids and gaps inside of you and it kind of feels good.
Here are two quick observations, honestly I could probably manage to write a book someday, but this will have to do. One: we embrace pain and suffering because ultimately it gives us control. Sometimes when all feels lost and hopeless, circumstances become treacherous (abuse, disappointments, break-ups) there is no way to control what is happening, so we use our pain and our suffering as a means of power. Some pain and suffering is voluntary, and for the most part it is in our hands how we react to some situations. By embracing the pain and suffering and acting as though it is just a normal part of us and that we shouldn’t change, we take “false power” over the situation. It’s kind of like the kid who always gets told what to do, so he starts holding his bowel movements because it gives him a sense of control and power, after all he is the only one who has control over his bathroom habits.
We embrace pain and suffering because it feeds our ego. My counselor gave me the book “It’s not about me” and after reading through it I finally understand what she was trying to tell me. Sometimes we embrace pain and suffering because it makes the world revolve around us. When I was depressed and hurt, my life became about how everyone was against me, everyone should be concerned and worried about me.
There is a lot more I want to discuss on this topic, but I think I will break it down into segments. I welcome and encourage feedback. Thank you for reading!
First of all I am not “sprung” easy my “big butt” lovers. Just as the season is changing, my life has taken a similar path. A month ago I had an apartment lined up in Florida, now I live in Tennessee and am scrambling to find an apartment in Nashville. My future bride and I prayed, talked and struggled through a difficult question….”do we want better?” Ash and I decided to take a huge risk and lay it all on the line and move to a completely different state.
If you want better……pray, YES…..work hard, YES…..but……make the effort…..give God something to work with….not only have faith move out on it.
One year ago I was walking the streets of the “Via Dolorosa.” I remember the intense emotion and feeling in the air. There were so many people all gathering for the same purpose.
The night before we watched “The Passion,” it was so intense and I remember just connecting with my savior on such a deep level knowing that in the morning I would walk the very road that he himself walked.
We now stood in the place where he was sentenced and I looked around imagining what it was like that morning when all were yelling and shouting at my savior. As the crowd began the long walk we saw the cross being carried and imagined what it would have been like as Christ walked by holding that cross.
It’s been a year now, how quickly I forget… That day was so intense for me and so real. Yet I have managed to let it slip away. I have always asked myself how someone who could see miracles or someone who was healed can forget and drift away from the Lord. I stand here and answer that very question, it seems I too, have managed to forget…. The old saying out of the bible says something along the lines of “O jerusalem let me not forget you, otherwise let my right hand forget its craft…” For me today I pray “O Lord let me not forget you, let me not withdraw and drift from you but help me to stay near and close to your heart, otherwise let me forget my purpose let me feel lonely don’t let me drift from you.”
This is kind of my Via Dolorosa…I have walked and and grown weary but now I lift my head and see my purpose, my destiny, “I will grab and claw for it!”
The other day I took my fiance to go see Dear John and in the movie the couple is talking about each-other’s flaws and how “bad” and screwed up they are. They both went on about how none of that mattered…it struck me right then that nothing ashley does or has ever done or will ever do, will make me stop loving her. Matter of fact, her flaws and mistakes make me love her even more….
This made me think of how much God loves us…
If “I” in all of my flaws and weakness and screw-ups, can love like that imagine how much more God loves you and me…
Through our weakness he is made strong…
Thank God for his grace and for his love.
Want more on grace go check out my brother-in-law, Brewster.