The cold never bothered me anyway

Disney, frozen, clueless, christian, new englandIt’s early morning. I wrap my hands around my coffee mug in front of the warmth of a wood-stove fire. A layer of fresh snow coats the hill out back where sledding is a favorite pastime. The sun is just on the rise. And…, it is COLD. -2F at the moment; but we could see 20F today if the sun is bright.

This is my kind of day!

We have a lot to do today. Writing, counseling, designing the future with some local Christian leaders. I will probably get to my office uptown at some point after my doctor’s appointment at 9:00. But right now, I am simply content to sit here and ponder the deeper questions of life in the flames of the fire.

You see, the cold never bothered me. I love it cold. When a lot of New Englanders head to more southern climes, my wife and I head north; usually to Freepost, ME, for a time of play at LL Bean and hiking snow covered beaches. We love the cold that much. And yes, you go right ahead and think we’re crazy. We are.

It’s a lot like that with faith too, isn’t it? When our faith seems cold we long for those warmer times. All of us go through cold times and hot times in our faith. Yet I wonder if this is more a commentary on our temperament than on the reality of our faith. We may feel cold in our faith at times; but that does not negate the genuineness of our faith. It is Christ that holds us. Christ before me, Christ behind me… .

If we could see our future would it then still be faith? No. For there would be no reason for faith. It would be more like following a map than carving a path through the wilderness.

My faith, though based in history and Scripture, often feels like blind faith. This is especially true in those seasons of cold realities, when there seems little to hope, little to celebrate. In those times, bland faith might be a better descriptor.

We who deign to be Christ followers need to learn to rise above the pain and trust again. I know I’ve had to this past year. And it was not easy. It was time and energy consuming. But I trusted that our Lord would never give me more difficulty than I could bear, more adversity than could be a crippling weight. Even David, in Psalm 42 was aware of his despair and depression. But he fought back and knew he would again praise God even for these times. Just not yet.

So don’t let the cold bother your faith. Push through it. Maybe you’ll even learn to love the cold. Go ahead. Go out and play in the snow. Wow! The temperature is almost up to 12̊ F!

 

Honor God, honor people, make a difference,

Gary

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Let it go

Frozen, Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Let it go, Let it go!

We all have things in our past that we need to let go. The movie Frozen  reminded us of this in the most beautiful way. Thank you Elsa. Although I did wonder if you didn’t go too far at times; like the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bath. Your letting-go was definitely a reflection of your rebellion— against your power, against obedience, and against everything you had been trained to be.

But it didn’t have to be that way. When people listen to their inner-rage, without the counsel of someone wise, they tend to let go of too much. We push people away so we can feel strong, safe, dominant over everything around us, but we are detached from it. Insulated from external influence, we become islands of isolation, convinced we can make it on our own, with no need for anyone else. This happens when some girl breaks up with you, or your marriage of 25 years comes crashing down around you; or that job you were committed to lets you go as part of a “downsizing.”

Some questions we all need to answer are—

1.      What kinds of things need to be let go?

2.      What are healthy ways to let go?

3.      What dare not be let go?

1stWhat kinds of things need to be let go?  Anger comes to mind; so does revenge, resentment, an unforgiving spirit, and the like. Too often do we carry our past with us to our detriment; it eats away at our souls and defiles our flesh. FEARS must also be let go.

2nd What are healthy ways to let go? Processing externally with a professional counselor is probably best; or, just a good drinking buddy. Tea or Single Malt Scotch; what’s the difference! Writing a list of things you NEED to let go of is also a good idea. Make two copies— the 2nd one for your tea buddy or counselor. Accountability always produces more results than self-monitored goals. Commitment to put an end to ruminating over past hurts is a must. Prayer is a given; you need God’s help to make this work.

3rdWhat dare not be let go? Personal, moral character! Commitments. Personal integrity. The ability to love others when there is very little left of yourself. An ability to be vulnerable. A desire to live sacrificially. The need to be responsible with your own life and for those in your care. The gift of play. Your own ability, and need, to forgive others. And the strength to love those who have hurt you.

These are just a few of the many ways you need to let go; not of yourself, but of those things that detract from who you are as a person, as a creation of God, and as someone who has much to contribute to the world around you. So, get started, get moving! No one can do this but you.

Cold never bothered me anyway.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary