Finding Peace

aaron-burden-651693-unsplash.jpgProfound moments happen when we will to show up with others. You may not go to church, and you may be estranged from family, but I’d guess you still have a “family” of some kind you turn to. I realize there are hermits, people who live alone, but at some point they will need other people.

Depression is a lonely isolating illness, and I suspect any kind of illness is, but when you surround yourself with other people it makes it bearable. I’m going to speak for myself as if I haven’t already been doing that.

When I sit down for coffee with someone, or I ride in a car with someone to Home Depot the conversations are life changing, not because they are somehow laced with epiphany, but because they are with people who care and love. I might even forget what our conversations were about, but the time spent together is priceless, and the time is never forgotten.

My brother Jason just encouraged me in the writing of my book, and I thanked him for the encouragement. I think the man is right. The book needs to get written because it’s been a desire since Don Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz, and that’s been a long time. I have one life to live, and these people I get to travel it with are the salt of the earth. They will journey with me into eternity, and even though I am not an eschatological (study of the end times) expert I will assume we are going to know each other when the new heaven and earth are created. I have no basis for writing that, but I hope to know my parents, wife and daughter, so why wouldn’t I include all the others I’ve interacted with here?

We attended a Church of Christ that talked about joining the journey instead of placing membership. I like joining the journey better because each one of us is on a journey to the same location(s) where God will be seen. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three dimensions that He used to convey to us what He is like, but I firmly believe that we will not need those delineations after Judgement Day for He will be completely accessible. I know the Temple curtain was torn from top to bottom at the death of the Son, but I still feel a veil over who the real God is. So much of that is my sinful nature, and today I prayed the Spirit come upon me, and She did, but when hunger, fatigue and anger overtake my body the sinful nature is too much to bear, and I give into the things of the flesh.

This is not a place for confession, so I’ll leave you to your own thoughts about that. My church family, Covenant Group and select individuals are of course privy to the inner workings of my heart and mind. Bearing my soul to 7 billion on the internet is neither safe nor wise.

There will of course be more detail to come forth in the book. The title of it again is Beyond Sad.

David’s transparency was appropriate in the Psalms. He did not elaborate on the gory details of his sin, but neither did he hide the utter ugliness it created. I think my friend Joe Beam is similar in that regard with his speeches and books. He has battled the sinful nature firsthand in our struggle against the unseen forces in the heavenly realms.

You cannot expect to change unless you admit you have a problem, and you are powerless to change it.

Our interactions with each other, our mutual respect for each other’s experience, and the kind ways we talk to each other are vitally important in any relationship. Some people spend a lifetime never learning that. That’s sad.

If you refuse to put yourself in another person’s shoes then you are doing us all a disservice.

Listen to others say every word they say without thinking about one word you are going to respond with. I don’t care if you’re President Trump. Keep your mouth closed when others are speaking. Think of others better than yourself, and if you don’t have something loving or nice to say then go for a walk. If your path of destruction is really toxic make a decision to spend time alone with God to purify your thinking and actions.

Stay calm. Refuse to give up. Sit down with someone over a cup of coffee. Call someone.

And last, but far from least, forgive those who hurt you.

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