Weekly Thought – March 23, 2021
Fred experienced four major hospitalizations during his last five years of his life. “We don’t know what to say to him,” one of his friends commented. “Bring him a problem,” was son Fred’s wise answer. The family passed the word around to his many friends. This was the key to his rebounding until the final stay in 2007. This inciteful observation gave him the energy and focus to return home time after time.
Handling Problems Realistically
A former pro athlete interviewed upon incarceration said his drug problem was really about lifestyle. He commented he was caught between the idea of the good life and real problems. He chose to deal with reality by escaping through substance abuse…at least until he crossed too many lines and was jailed.
I agree with him, but I also think there may be more.
1) It is how we define a problem. A problem may be a hurt or a life vacuum. The philosophy of the good life says we are winners who will have continuous highs. This image becomes the over energetic imagery of television commercials. If we don’t feel this way then we must be living in the “before” part of the commercial before the product’s solution. Nothing in life can bring instant results, short of consciousness-altering substances. The truth of real life doesn’t have an immediate “before to after” resulting in forever happiness. Too many Christians look for spiritual highs and spiritual quick fixes because we don’t want to go through the transformational process. In all areas of our lives we want to move from before to after in blinding speed, enjoying it all the way. It just doesn’t happen that way. The good life philosophy fails because we would have to lean on the artificial, synthetic, or addictive to consistently operate on that level. The sudden high is a fallacy and a trap.
2) The core hurt always has a peripheral aspect that can be satisfied by these temporary solutions, but can never be truly remedied by the short term. In fact, the effort to soothe the hurt allows the core problem to continue growing until it takes over all temporary fixes and hopelessness occurs. Suicide then becomes a possible solution. Another is just simply giving into the darkness, deciding we are worthless, and choosing a life of degradation and dishonor.
3) The answer is the rejuvenation of the Holy Spirit. Nothing compares to the washing, cleansing, and changing work of the Spirit. The power is seen in the living out of the transformed life. Just knowing about the Spirit’s work isn’t the full answer; application must happen. Einstein’s theories seem reasonable and practical to physicists, but until astronauts climbed into the rocket and ventured into space were they tested. There is always great risk in change. Spiritually, it is the same. We can’t trust the Spirit on a trial basis. But the good life which comes through rejuvenation and regeneration is truly the only good life. All else may sizzle for a while but will ultimately fizzle.
This week carefully consider: 1) How do I handle problems? 2) What is my concept of spiritual transformation? 3) Who helps me clearly define the good life?
Words of Wisdom: “The truth of real life doesn’t have an immediate “before to after” resulting in forever happiness.”
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)