"We can't solve problems using the same thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein (There are several permutations of this quote online, but everybody seems to agree that Albert Einstein said it. Unless it was some guy from Toledo. Anyway. Whatever.)
This week (Stress-Less week) I've been using my little pauses-on-the-go:
- Night Watch - Psalm 42 - "praying to the God who gives me life"
- Dawn - Psalm 19 - "may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing"
- Mid-morning - Psalm 121 - "the Lord Himself watches over you"
- Noon - Psalm 34 - "taste and see that the Lord is good"
- Mid-afternoon - Psalm 90 - "Lord, through all the generations you have been our home"
- Evening - Psalm 139 - "tell me where to stop and rest"
- Bedtime - Psalm 23 - "goodness and mercy, all the days of my life"
and the thing that strikes me most is how different these thoughts are from my default settings, which go something like this:
- I wonder what everybody thinks of me now that I said that.
- I'm out here on my own.
- If I don't get it just right, everything will fall apart.
- If I mess up, other people will think I'm an idiot and that will ruin my life.
- I better figure this out before somebody dies.
- Maybe it will all work out if I keep trying harder.
- When is it ever going to be enough?
When I was living in default all the time, there were a lot of reasons why it seemed to be the truth.
We were doing a New Testament translation on a little island in the South Pacific. People would die and go to hell if we didn't get this translation done.
There was no medical care. No grocery store. No school for the kids. My family could die if I didn't diagnose and treat properly, or get all the food ahead of time. And certainly my children would grow up stupid if I didn't get school right.
Lots of people were invested in the project with us. What would they think, if we took a vacation? Spent money on comforts? Quit?
And so it went. To insanity and beyond.
My kind of thinking got me into a whole world of hurt. But it seemed so real! So true! So reasonable! And when things started going south, of course I did what we all do. Try harder! Do more! Put on a happy face! Fake it til you make it!
The best day of my life was the day I finally said, "I'm done. I quit."
That was the day I got saved from myself.
Now. It looked like a horrible mess to everybody else, because I was a master at keeping all the plates spinning and everything looking fantastic for the audience. And when I quit, it freaked everybody out pretty badly.
I remember a family member asking me when I was going to get back to normal.
And I said, "Never."
Ain't going back there no more.
I am SICK of a life that is all about me and what I do or don't do. That way of thinking is old and broken and just about killed me.
The old has passed away. The new has come, and the new is this:
It is finished.
By the blood of Jesus, there is rest for my soul. Unending love, amazing grace.
OK. Stress week officially ends on the 17th. Possessions week is June 17-23. I'll be sorting out and donating stuff. How high will the pile be?