Weekly Thought – March 15, 2022
Fred consistently sought to realistically deal with problems. To help others he established one of his most important pieces of counsel: “It is critical to know the difference between a problem and a fact of life. A problem can be solved; a fact of life is a given. To spend time trying to change a fact of life is foolish.”
Handling Problems Realistically
A former pro athlete, now incarcerated on drug charges, said “the drug problem is really about lifestyle. We are caught between our idea of the good life and how to handle real problems. Some of us choose to handle them by escaping into substance abuse.” I agree with him, but I think it may be even more.
It is how we define a problem that affects the outcome. A problem may be a hurt, a wound, or an emotional vacuum. The good life tells us we are winners; we always feel good; we always live on the high side of life. Movies, TV commercials, and celebrities support this philosophy. If we are down then we are in the “before” side of life. Sitcoms and advertisements solve problems in lightening speed making the “after” look like reality. In actuality, it may just be another layer of the problem itself.
Nothing in life brings instant results. Consciousness altering substances have great appeal because they tend to sell the user on the idea that they can check out and experience something else almost immediately. But sober, sane life doesn’t work that way. Nothing can transform us that quickly.
This is one of the reasons too many look for spiritual highs and spiritual quick fixes because we don’t want to do the hard work of solving the problems and undergoing transformation. We want to go from “before” to “after” in blinding speed, enjoying it all the way. It just doesn’t happen that way.
So, what too many define as the winning life cannot be genuine because it depends on the artificial, the synthetic, and the addictive to live at that level. Looking for the sudden high leads to lifestyles of degradation.
The periphery of our hurts may be temporarily satisfied by these solutions, but none of them touch the core of the problems. In actuality, the core and the essential hurt continues to grow, giving room for nothing but hopelessness. A pitiful alternative is giving in to the darkness and claiming worthlessness. The one who opts for this solution gives in and jettisons all self-respect.
What is the answer? The rejuvenation of the Holy Spirit. Nothing satisfies like the washing and changing through the Spirit. Through this comes true transformation. And this must come through an actual spiritual experience, not just head knowledge. But it doesn’t come without risk. We can’t do it on a trial basis. It is life’s total risk. But life through rejuvenation and regeneration is truly the only good life. All else may sizzle for awhile but will ultimately fizzle.
This week consider: 1) How do I define the good life? 2) What distinctions am I making between problems and facts of life? 3) Who is a good role model for genuine satisfaction?
Words of Wisdom: “Nothing in life brings instant results.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NET Bible)