Weekly Thought – December 3, 2019
Fred thought continually about maturity. He considered various aspects of character development, bringing clarity. Growth was not casual or optional for him, but part of his responsibility to his God-given gifts and others.
When down times come here are three approaches that most take 1) fret, 2) become apathetic, or 3) become active.
If we choose activity we have to be careful to recognize both negative and positive results may follow. Oftentimes when we go into overdrive to avoid things we fear we risk heading into circumstances which are worse than those we are avoiding. When we take on negative behaviors like drugs or alcohol to keep our eyes averted from a disappointment, we can create even bigger problems.
A better alternative is recognizing the truth of the situation, then using our energies to take positive action rather than fretting, hiding, or making the situation worse. Downtimes can spur creativity. It is also a time for habits which get us through almost by rote. And a note here – these habits are established well before they are needed.
It is also critical to establish a method for working through the valleys. Taking charge of emotions is healthier than just giving in and spiraling downward. Children are reactionary, but healthy adults learn to have a repertoire of responses.
These dark times often follow mistakes we make. I am convinced the knowledge that we can come back, that we have resilience allows us to forgive ourselves and start again. When we do not feel we can come back we are tempted to transfer the responsibility for the failure to others.
The energy needed to build back can easily be sapped by wallowing in the emotional pit. Directing energies into climbing out and moving forward is the sign of emotional maturity.
Emotional valleys have value. Too many fail to see and use the deep places. In fact, many refuse to admit they are not on the mountain tops. They work hard to fill in the valleys with artificial means. Some choose overdosing on motivational messages, masks, denial, and down-right lying to themselves and others. How authentic can a person be exclaiming “Things couldn’t be better!” when clearly everything is falling down around them?
It is better to relax and take the valley rather than delaying and falling headlong into the pit.
And I learned a long time ago the food we eat on the mountain top was grown in the valley!
Words of Wisdom: “It is also critical to establish a method for working through the valleys.”
Wisdom from the Word: “As the mountains rose up, and the valleys went down— to the place you appointed for them.” (Psalm 104:8 NET Bible)