“Let It Play” No More

Hey. (Hmmm, yes?)

I had a thought… (That’s good- kind of like breathing is good.)

Lol. I was just thinking, you know how ____ happened today, and we did ____? (Yes, that was good – the right thing to do.)

Well, it occurred to me that the old me would’ve let that play out – because there might have been something … nice for us- (You mean nice for you, Flesh.)

Right, I keep forgetting… (I know! But you have changed, that’s for sure.)

Although The Book says I’ll ever be the same… (Technically… but that was when Mind followed your lead. Wiser… heads prevail now.)

Yes, I understand that … now. I still say I was just ignorant before… (You were and are easily tempted to chase whatever feels good, Flesh. It’s kind of the way you were made- running from danger does keep you alive, as you know. It was when Mind… didn’t ‘mind’ the shop, so to speak, that you both got into trouble.)

Such trouble! Lol! I’m so glad that I can laugh about those days now- (Laugh only a little, I hope. Some… evil things were done when you got going under the influence.)

I know. I know. And I am truly, deeply sorry I was the cause of such things… I can never forget. Sometimes, I can feel Mind getting really down on us again… starts telling me things would be better off- (Without being accusatory, Flesh, that is your depressive chemical imbalance speaking, but I see what you’re saying. Yes, your slate is clean- spiritually. You simply must not forget that earthly consequences are not at all the same thing. I can’t save you from those.)

… (You still awake?)

Ya, I was just thinking… it’s the ‘team’ of us that gets us by in this world. Y’know each doing what we’re supposed to do; what we’re each good at… (Lol! One might say yours is not the thinking! Ha! That’s a good one! Mind does the thinking and deciding, and you do the moving and heavy lifting. Except when there’s bears- then you have the authority to get us out of here!)

Lol! And those stinging bugs! ‘We hates them, Precious!’ (Ah, great movie! Good redemptive story! It’s on again tomorrow, maybe we could-) My turn to interrupt! We’ve got responsibilities to take care of, you know! But… if we get everything done, maybe there’ll be enough time to relax for a bit.

(As long as you stop relaxing when the time is up…)

Yes. Yes, I get it now:

“Let it play” (No more!)

(Now, put the phone away and go to sleep. It’s 1:30 in the morning!)

I’m thirsty. I think I’ll get a glass of water. (You just did.)

Featured Music: Josh Wilson

Hi All,

It’s Worship Music Monday and a Fascination With God post is due! I want to tell you about an awesome artist, Josh Wilson. At times, he’s a loop-pedal performer (that is, he records alone live-on-stage multiple parts of songs), and at others he’s playing multiple instruments on his studio recordings.

I’ve seen him live once, opening for Third Day a couple of years ago. Recently, during one of my many 2-week hospital stays, I dove in to explore more of his music (other than the one song I’d heard on the radio, “I Refuse”). I ended up downloading 3 of his albums.

If you like deep lyrics (“head music”) and catchy pop melodies, Josh is for you!

Here’s a youtube with lyrics of the song that’s currently stuck in my head:

 

Official Website:

http://www.joshwilsonmusic.com/

“Never Again?” No, Just “Not Right Now”

“Never Again?” No, Just “Not Right Now”

OPIA – plural of “opium (countable and uncountable, plural opiums or opia)”

I Obsess. I Procrastinate. I Isolate. I Avoid. These are the traits of my ‘drug’, my escape, my addictive trend. Today, I live “in recovery” from these things (as opposed to specific actions or substances). I’m being healed and transformed. It’s a long, rough road. Sometimes the “destination,” a life full of sobriety, seems very, very far away. No wonder, when I look at it that way.

I sit here in the midst of my life, and seek a “life full.” Do you see? The only time I will know that my life has been full (of anything) is at the end of it. Knowing that I need to stay sober for it all, I then think to myself when I’m tempted, “Never again.” How utterly dismal that seems. Many of my problem areas are life’s pleasures!

For someone who so easily becomes obsessed with anything – especially if it helps avoid any kind of pain or discomfort, “never again” is insurmountable, impossible. I know I won’t be able to accomplish it, so why not just let it go now?

I needed a way to shrink my goal down to a manageable size. How do you eat an elephant?
I determined it could be done with a change of this point of view. I welcomed the limit of “not right now.” This is a period of time I can handle.

Take this morning, for example. I lingered over a problem behavior, flirting with danger. I was in despair, in a “never again” mood, and was dejected about my chances of success, so I let the ‘nostalgia’ of old times play. I yearned for it, distracted from the reasons – the things I know I’m capable of – the things I want to stay away from, the things that are milestones on that downward-spiraling path. I confess, it was a close call.

I was saved by another recent change to my point of view. The old definition of ‘sober’ included “force”. I was ‘keeping myself from’ these things I really enjoyed. Who wouldn’t resist such efforts? Nowadays, I have turned it around; I now voluntarily give up an opportunity to experience a gratification – as an offering, a living sacrifice of a bodily indulgence – to keep myself whole, holy, and pleasing to God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1

This has made a huge difference. Even though temptations occur predictably, I have maintained my purity. But, as the above example demonstrates, “never again” can still dig me into a hole. I’ve also been praying daily for protection from thoughts, memories, fantasies, visions, and dreams of by-gone bad habits. “Right now” it is working.

To summarize, two point-of-view changes to help “stay clean” are:

  • rather than thinking that I’ll “never again” be allowed to do a thing I enjoy, I am ‘sort of’ doing it – just “not right now”
  • rather than thinking that I must ‘force’ myself to be sober, I gladly offer the opportunity to do a thing as a sacrifice to my God
  • Bonus: pray specifically for protection from the things that give temptations free reign