Monday, February 11, 2008


The Maelstrom
Part One

These are my wife's thoughts, but most definitely include mine as well!

Pronunciation: \ˈmāl-strəm, -ˌsträm\ Function: noun
1: a powerful often violent whirlpool sucking in objects within a given radius
Object getting violently sucked in: me.

This is not the first time I’ve felt this way. This is about the billionth time.
“How can this be?” others ask incredulously. “Is she not a Christian?”

Yes, I am, and I love the Lord dearly, but being sucked into the middle of a powerful vortex does things to a person’s perspective. One tends to lose one’s sense of equilibrium. Up is down, down is up, nothing makes sense, and there’s nothing to hold on to.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how when I’m on the verge of getting discouraged or depressed, I connive diversions for myself so I don’t have to feel pain. I go shopping, I eat, I flip through TV channels endlessly, I read house porn (a.k.a. home decorating magazines) etc. until I feel better – enough so that I can coast through another day. I simply anesthetize myself.

However, this coping mechanism is not working, because I never get better! I don’t get to the root of the problem. I merely latch on to the railing until I get hit with the next wave. So today, in a fleeting moment of clarity, the following occurred to me. I think it is descriptive of Christians everywhere:

Re: pain
We don’t want to feel,
So we refuse to deal,
…and God can’t heal.

AS a result, today, in the midst of the violent sucking whirlpool, while my brains get bashed about in the white water rapids of my soul, I begin to think…this is not right. Speaking for me, I’m pretty well stressed most of the time. I watch Oprah, and she tells me how bad this is for my health and how I need to get rid of stress in my life. Well, I don’t do yoga contortions or chant mantras. I tried deep-breathing and all I got was light-headed. I can’t quit my job, leave my family or chuck everything and escape to Fiji, no forwarding address (although I’ve been mighty tempted to do all those things!). Getting rid of stress is easier said than done. We all know about those who, stressed beyond their ability to cope, have totally lost it and “gone postal” (maybe the word should be spelled ‘mailstrom’! HAHAHA)…but I digress.

How many Christians do you know who are consistently victorious in the daily maelstrom of life? I’m talking about financial worries, job pressures, family turmoil, bad health – you name it. The tragedy is, I can’t think of even one! Isn’t that sad? We simply do not deal with the onslaught of life! If we don’t succumb to downright depression, either we’ll buy our way out, give out, or sell out to escape, but we never overcome. What then, makes us any different from those who don’t even claim to know the Lord? We face everything that they do, we’re often stressed out, overwhelmed with anxiety and despair, plus we get plagued with GUILT – because we are constantly told that Christians should know better! What’s wrong with this picture?

End of Part One


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