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« Evangelical Collapse and Pentecostal Revival | Main | HOW TO READ A DIFFICULT BOOK »


What I am about to say is not for the purpose of generating sympathy or pity for me. It is only to help me sort things out in a coherent way so I can make it make sense. Okay, here it is. I’ve been going through a lot of junk lately. Analyst that I am, I can’t just go through things without peeling the layers back and examine why it’s all happening. I stare down the facts at hand and then I look at the actions that caused the facts to be what they are. What were the motives behind the actions? What and why were my responses to the facts, acts and motives? Could I have changed anything? If I had responded differently to the actions, could I have avoided some of the junk? Should I have asked for help sooner than I did? Should I have exercised greater, more intelligent insight than I did? Is all of this making me crazy?

As you might expect, such questioning ends up being futile. The facts are what they are and they can’t be changed. I am at fault for some things; innocent for other things; and much of what happened was beyond my control. Having depleted my arsenal of questions, solutions, strategies and suggestions, I am left to the distasteful job of damage control. Much of the damage control is in the realm of personal, private interaction with people. A huge portion of it, however, lies in the realm of common, human experiences. Ultimately, the personal stuff won’t matter nearly as much as the larger impact the junk has upon my thinking, my philosophy, my attitude, my capacity for leadership and my life.

You don’t need to know the personal facts. They are probably pretty similar to the hard times you’ve been through in your own life. It might be helpful, though, for you to know how I am choosing to deal with it all. Mind you, I am not executing the plan with any sort of perfection. I often speak when I should be quiet, permit my mind to travel down too many dead-end streets and retrace my footsteps in monotonous repetition. Yet, there are some stark guidelines that keep me from disaster. I share them with you in case you need to reflect on some things you may be going through.

  • I cannot forget who I am.
  • I cannot live others lives for them.
  • I cannot suspend the law of sowing and reaping in the lives of others.
  • I cannot negate my life’s calling because of circumstances beyond my control.
  • I cannot abandon my personal duties and responsibilities.
  • If I fail in one area, I do not have to fail in all areas.
  • I must not judge myself by someone else’s failure.
  • If I make one bad decision, I do not have to let it become a pattern.
  • Things always seem worse than they actually are.
  • If things can get worse, they probably will. I have to adjust to the developments.
  • If things cannot get worse, then they will get better. I cannot despair.
  • If permitted, one heartache can overshadow a thousand joys. I must keep everything in proportion.
  • I cannot stop loving people even if they disappoint me.
  • I cannot stop loving people because I have been crushed by one.
  • People who love me will probably continue to love me.
  • People who stop loving me undoubtedly have other problems as well.
  • God’s love for me is constant and undiminished.
  • The more intense the problems become, the more I am driven into the arms of God.
  • The safest place for me to be is in God’s arms.



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Reader Comments (1)

I would add that a nice cup of tea also soothes jagged mind edges (at least for 5 minutes). Love you, Uncle, and always you and Aunt Sandy are on my mind and in my prayers.

April 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Bucy

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