31 March 2016

Walking Through Life ... With Others

I've been reminded today that scripture frequently compares life to a walk. You can find a few of these references here.

Quite understandably. Life is a journey; one that lasts a lifetime. Like it or not, you're never sitting still for long. Enjoy the splendid views that you see, because circumstances will soon change and you'll be moving on again... Endure the rocky paths and harshness, because it's only for a short while. You'll soon move on.

And I get it. I am reminded that I need to walk every step of the way with my Lord. He will never leave me, or forsake me. Walk as He did. Tick the box - got that one.

However, the person whose blog I read today assured me that I'm also told to walk alongside other people.

And that's where he kind of lost me. Where I turned off the computer, and moved on.

Yes, it was the reference to the other people.

Yes, I know that it's safer to walk with others. It's scary to walk alone at night or down a lonely country road. So, if you are in a scary place, taking comfort in companionship through those difficult times surely is the right way. But I often feel unsure of others - until I really, really, get to know them. And that takes time.

Yes, I know it’s supportive. Walking through the problems of life with others keeps you going until you get to the end. But I often feel that these others aren't genuine - that they are using me somehow.

And yes, I know it's smarter. I can learn much more by being on the same path with others. They keep me on the right path, cheer me on when I'm flagging, even giving me a chance to help them when they have problems.

So, here's the bottom line.

Why do I find it difficult to trust others?

Because some of them have hurt me before.

I feel sad tonight.

26 March 2016

Challenging Negativity (Fighting Back When The ANTs Attack)

(I saw this pic on a blog that I follow. Thanks Meridian for inspiring this post)

Is this you?

I certainly can identify with it.

Surrounded by a whole host of different comments and asides throughout the day, what's the one thing that I end up dwelling on when my head eventually hits the pillow? The negative comment. (sigh)

I'm reliably informed that psychologists use the term “automatic negative thoughts” to describe this sort of thing. ANTs, for short.

Just like their real-world counterparts, these ANTs are not so easy to deal with if their numbers are plentiful - that is, if you let the negative thoughts overpower you. It's a mind-set problem.

Get yourself stuck in a loop, and you'll end up having the same negative thoughts - again and again.

Here's one way to combat this:





14 March 2016

Unpredictable

adjective; not able to be predicted; changeable.

Life, as they say, is unpredictable.

I was on my way to the railway station with my son this morning, trying to plan out something we need to do together in a fortnight's time. Then, something unexpected happened which meant that I had to hold that thought, as I had to work out a way how to help him with a more pressing problem today.

Then, to top it all, the train was cancelled, leaving all those on the platform to rethink how each of us were going to get to work!

All in a space of ten minutes!

That got me thinking....

And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.
(James 4:13-17 - The Message).

11 March 2016

Multitasking

"You want it when?"

I find that I spend a great deal of my time at this time of year juggling priorities. Infuriatingly, of late it's been because other people have had a different opinion as to the urgency of a particular situation. 

One of my colleagues had to be reminded twelve times about the need to submit a particular form to me! 

Because of this, I have had to keep rescheduling, changing my tack, working a bit of unpaid overtime, calling in favours, cajoling, negotiating, and copying in other colleagues to try to help, in order to drive things home and finally get things done.

It's been exhausting.

However, I am now calmer.

The rush has died down. I've got time to breathe.

Time to take stock. With a hard-earned day off today.
 
Time to reflect on what God had to say to me this week:
 
Psalm 127: 1-2 (The Message)
If God doesn’t build the house,
    the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
    the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?

5 March 2016

Job's Comforter

noun -  a person who aggravates distress under the guise of giving comfort.

Boy, are there plenty of these around! Like the extremely helpful (!) individual who told me this week how much he was trying to help me - not only did he fail, he ended up making me feel much worse....

The title of course comes from the biblical story of Job. Unlike me, he had three 'comforters'. These were people tried to console Job, who was otherwise an upright man, telling him that his troubles must surely be divine retribution for his sins.

Is that right?

Actually, I don't think that God - the loving and caring Father that I read about in scripture - is one that sends 'divine retribution' to make people's lives more miserable.

He doesn't send the trials.

But He doesn't leave us alone in the midst of them. 

And that's more a comfort to me.