I’m sitting here staring at my laptop, willing a blog-worthy topic to jump out at me from the plethora of open articles on my taskbar. I’m also getting progressively colder. At some point I have taken off my sweater …probably upstairs when I was giving Lucy her bath and had the space heater on. Down here it’s quite chilly.
Sigh. Guess I’ll trudge upstairs and get my sweater.
Upstairs, I grab my devotional and a shawl…where did I put that sweater?...and head back down to my computer. There on the chair is the discarded sweater.
I’d been sitting on it.
How often, I ask myself, am I operating on guesses, suppositions and hearsay, when the actual information is right there at my fingertips? Do I struggle to remember the conversion table for measurements and ignore the refrigerator magnet which conveniently displays all those figures? How many times have I sat, frantically trying to recall what appointments I have, rather than checking my calendar? Or strained to read a medicine bottle or a newspaper column, instead of putting on my glasses?
And do I read reams of paper, absorb tens of thousands of words from those who claim to know the meaning of life…but neglect to read anything from the One who is the Source of life?
I was surprised–and, I’m sorry to say, heartened somewhat–to read this morning John Piper’s confession that even “after fifty years of loving and reading and memorizing scripture, I can be lured away from appointed times in the Word by something as insignificant as a new computer device.” (When I Don’t Desire God, Crossway Books, 2004, page 96)
When will I learn to keep in the forefront of my mind that this life is a battleground, but that the most vital battles are not being fought in Washington? When will I take to heart that a victory for the pro-life movement is exciting, but a victory over my personal sin is more so?
“We must not rely only on being preached to, but must become good preachers to our own soul. The gospel is the power of God to lead us joyfully to final salvation, if we preach it to ourselves. “ (ibid., page 80)
Piper goes on to quote from a book by Martin Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures, which is a study on Psalm 42:
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, NIV)
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?
“The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself…You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself…say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’–instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way, and then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and…what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do…Then…defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him…'”
I’ve got to stop sitting on the best asset I have, and I need to start reading with the right lenses.
So if you see me talking to myself, please know that I’m not crazy…I’ve just finally taken a step in the right direction.