Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

Think those weeds gave me indigestion….*urrrrp*

on August 24, 2013

Various thoughts cropping up like weeds in my happy pasture…disturbing the harmony but not so much so that I’m going wandering off from the Shepherd again.

–Reflecting on the various things God’s been dealing with me about this year, noticing a common thread running through them…a real struggle with self-denial, or, being able to say “no” to self.  Part of it definitely has a root in pride, as I’ve noted…but I’m wondering if there might be another catalyst for it.  When I had yet another argument with myself this morning over resisting a food craving, it occurred to me that I was behaving as a drug addict seeking the next “hit”.

And that struck me.  Because, as I know from my psychology training, addictive behavior has now been shown to have at least some biological basis.  It’s partially “hardwired”, as it were, in the brains of those who struggle with it.  I also know that level of mental functioning can in some cases be passed down genetically.  This is definitely the case with depression and I am 4th generation living proof.  I’m now wondering if I’ve inherited something else along with it.  Because through that same side of the family, there’s also addiction issues.  Cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana have all been used/abused by various generations before me, through at least a couple branches of the family tree.

I do none of the above…yet I have my own things I struggle mightily to say “no” to.   Spending money on material goods and eating are probably the two biggest.   I’ve come a long way in kicking the spending habit, but the food cravings still do me in.  I don’t say no.  And isn’t that essentially what addiction entails?  Not saying no?  Telling rational thought to take a hike in favor of the temporary buzz?  I want what I want and I want it now and I’m going to have it now because I cannot bear the feeling of not having it.  Lack of self-denial.

I’ve proven that I CAN say no to self–was on a pretty strict fast for Lent this year and only slipped up on one requirement, once.   But it almost always requires a very strong external motivator.  My internal motivators are very weak…and I’m wondering if I’m fighting “bad hardwiring”.  Ultimately, as believers, we’re all called to die to self, and I take that missive seriously.  I just wonder if I have a tougher road to hoe in this area because of my genetic makeup.  Not going to use this as an excuse or a crutch, just curious as to what parameters I’m working with here, why it always seems so doggone HARD.

 

–Spent at least a half hour at Target chatting with an exasperated mom who was school supply shopping with her daughter.  The convo got kicked off because she was voicing her displeasure at the school not even having given out a list of supplies to buy…she was having to make it up on the fly.  We then coursed through the sorry state of public education today–no books for the kids, no music or art programs, no teaching of basic concepts that we had to learn as children, extra challenges for parents of special needs children.   I told her how much I respected parents for taking on the challenge of raising children in today’s world, and encouraged her to keep fighting the good fight.

I really do have grave concern about where our society is headed.  Too many children aren’t receiving proper education, and, as a discussion on the bus ride home noted, too many children aren’t receiving proper parenting either.  So what does that mean when these kids get to the age where they have to start running the show?  What’s going to happen to our country?  Our society?  US?  And I feel for the parents who go the extra mile to raise their children right and get them a decent education and teach them basic living skills and morals that others can’t be bothered with.   They and their children often suffer because they’re bucking the trend.

From time to time I get grief from acquaintances and family about the fact that I don’t have kids.  I thank God I don’t, because of all these things above.  I don’t know that I’d have the fortitude to deal with all of that.  God HAS placed a number of other people’s children in my life, and has given me the grace to help raise them.  That I will do with everything I’ve got, because given what today’s parents face, every bit of help is a blessing!

 

–The job.  After a week of starting every morning with positive confessions, and experiencing pretty good days as a result, had it all ripped to shreds in a matter of less than two minutes.   End of the day, after putting in 2 hrs 15 min of overtime, I’d still not made an appreciable dent in my backlog of work.  I literally asked my supervisor for some mercy, and pleaded with him for a few hours of overtime next week to try and get somewhat caught up.   The request was rudely denied.  Multiple excuses given.  Same ones I’ve heard before, and none of them hold any merit.   Got chided for staying late tonight.  Basically told not to worry about getting the work done.  “We’ll find a way, we always do.”  By that point I was beyond frustrated…”Yeah.  Past deadline and half-a$$-ed.”  His response?  “That’s a way”, in a tone that said, “yep, exactly, that’s what we’re aiming for”.  I lost it.  “That’s not the way I operate!!!!”  For the first time in several years there (and for the first time in life in general in well over a year), I broke down in tears.  Sat there for a good while before I could get it together enough to leave.

Prayed the whole way as I walked to Target for a few supplies.  (about a mile and a half)  Much dialogue happened, but the takeaway to share:  “don’t compromise standards”.  I don’t compromise my standards anymore when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex….sex is for marriage only and God comes first.  Well, that’s meant me being very single, because most guys don’t want to play by those rules.   When I was still willing to bend the rules, then guys were interested…but then I was miserable.  I’d rather be single and happy.  I seem to have hit a similar crossroads with this job…I know what my standards of work ethic are and it’s getting to be impossible to operate with those standards there.  What that means for my future there, I can’t predict at this time, but I am committed to holding fast to my standards, because they are Godly, Biblical standards.  I don’t serve a late, mediocre God.

 

I thank God today is over and that there’s the hope of a fresh start with the sunrise.  I look forward to a good night’s sleep, in my Shepherd’s peaceful meadow.

 

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