Saturday, June 25, 2011
What I love so much about hiking is the mental game. You are constantly working the land - finding the right spot to plant your feet, something secure to hold on to, the best path for your trek. Hiking is full of choices and there is something so rewarding when your choices help you successfully manage a steep descent or conquer towering rocks or unforgiving terrain.
Along our life journey, we're faced with many obstacles. Many times I obsess about the unknown and uncertainty of these situations to the point of feeling trapped. Today I was reminded that I always have choices in the midst of an obstacle. And choices make us feel empowered. They take us from feeling trapped to moving forward.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I started going to therapy about a month ago. Not my first time but getting back into it after a couple years. There's a little part of me that thinks - I need to keep this secret - people might think I'm mentally ill, my marriage is broken, I'm spiritually immature or weak, I lack wisdom, I'm caught in the grips of horrible sin, etc. There seems to be a stigma with therapy in the American Church. We are hesitant to go and when we do we keep it private. Yes, therapy is a private thing but I believe our need to keep it private doesn't always have to do with privacy...but maybe more so SHAME. We are ashamed of seeking help. We are ashamed of showing others we are weak, that we are sinful, that we have broken relationships, that we are broken people, that we need help! We think...That therapy thing is for people who are really bad off! People who aren't seeking God. People who have an addiction. People who are on the brinks of divorce. In the wise words of Amy Poehler and Seth Myers..."Really? Really?!" There are so many things wrong with that mindset - first of all we're all bad off, second we all need help, third seeking help is seeking God... I could go on.
Before Adam and Eve knew they were naked there was no such thing as nakedness - it didn't exist because there was no alternative. We now think of them as naked, and after they sinned they knew they were naked but before then they were just people, not naked people, just people. Then sin entered the world and the first thing they did was cover their bodies. Isn't that interesting? I mean of all the things…after their "eyes were opened" they felt shame about their bodies. They felt vulnerable, exposed, naked. So they hid their nakedness. Which is kind of funny when you think about it because God has already seen them naked (He made them!) and they've already seen each other naked. So what's the big secret? Nonetheless they felt a need to HIDE. And then they tried to hide their sin. There is story after story in Scripture of God's people trying to hide. Hide their sin. Their brokenness. Their nakedness. It just seems like a good plan, right? It's the easy, logical thing to do. I can't remember if I've shared this before but…when I was a kid and it was time to clean my room, I would push everything in a corner, lay a blanket over it, and display my stuffed animals on top of the covered heap. And every time my mom would come in, take the animals off, unveil my heap, and just start pulling stuff out of the nicely packed pile. Oh man I was mad. Sometimes we just pack our stuff in a nice heap in the corner of our lives and cover it up with something nice and pretty. We think this is the easy, logical thing to do. It's too hard, painful, time consuming, frustrating, (fill in the word) to deal with it so we just need to COVER it.
So Adam and Eve hid, even though their bodies were no mystery. And I tried to hide my room mess, even though the big pile gave it away. So why do we do this? Why do we hide our brokenness, even though our imperfection was discovered thousands of years ago? We all know we're broken people, but we're afraid of revealing the mess. I'm not saying we all need to walk around airing our dirty laundry to every living person. That's not healthy either. But I'm learning to be more transparent. I'm learning to let God COVER my mess because He is the only one who can cover it. I'm learning that the mess is okay. IT'S OKAY.