I was struck by two things that got my attention and caused me to be ashamed that I “forgot” the very basic aspects of being a Christian.
First I was aware that I was again despondent about the poor decisions someone special to me is making. It affected all day. I was saddened, depressed, anxious, lacking energy and enthusiasm, and I was totally obsessed with the worry of his choices. And to be clear, the things he is doing could result in his death or incarceration. It could be argued that I had reason to worry of him! But as I drove with Spencer to our meetings today I was struck with this haunting reminder: If I am worrying it’s because I do not trust God. It’s true! Worry is proof that I do not trust HIM! It’s humiliating to have been a pastor and Christian camp director for going on four decades and still find myself forgetting such basic lessons as NOT worrying! (It’s the “Spiritual Alzheimer Syndrome"!). But I shared with Spencer that the truth is that whereas I do believe in God and His power, in some situations I act as if I am telling God, “Listen, I know you want to help, but in this situation let me handle this!”, or, “God I know that you mean well, but you have no idea how complicated this is”, or, “Lord, I know that you love me and the one I am concerned about, but I am afraid that if I let go and let you take over you will not do it they way I want it done” Absurd thinking! Yes—I know! But that’s how I treat God when I worry about anything!
The second thing I forgot was the blessings that come to me immediately from thanksgiving. There’s so much to work at, “worry about”, fret over, etc. that I am often guilty of not stopping to thank Him! I mean by that to stop and specifically recall the blessings of the day as well as the things that worked out that I thought might not, etc. And so I sat in my car and began to THANK HIM for all the things I was seeing in the camp staff (Justin, Nancy, Gene, Spencer, Mike, Jed, James), the board members, the LLC members, our supporters, our sponsors, our neighbors, my church, my friends! Good grief! How can I complain and whine in light of ALL that He has done for me!!!!!! And yet, little demons tempt me to feel sorry for myself, or worry about the “what if’s” or challenge me to compare my life with the “more” abundant life of others, etc, etc.
It seems that the Christian man or woman does need to be taught “new” things so much as need to reminded of the old things.