Human living is a cyclic thing. We have our ups and downs. Most of us ride the ups all the way into the beach but don’t know what to do when we’re grounded in the sand.
It can hit at any time. It’s that morbid sense of detached aloneness or anxious fear that we can’t quite put our finger on. We just feel a bit off or otherwise ‘blah’.
It seems a key to life to find our ways—for they’re most individual—of responding to such dips in hope.
Notwithstanding the need to know ourselves and apply that learning to these situations, there is a technique that works with reliable consistency. It is simply to inspire oneself mechanically—via our transformed thought.
The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
~Romans 12:2a (NRSV).
And even though Paul probably offered this exhortation for a different reason, the same technique applies—and is biblical given Jesus’ charge to ‘overcome the world’ in John 16:33—because we’re to use our minds to overcome.
Paul is saying to us, “Do not go the way of the world by just accepting the times of ambivalent hopelessness and unexplained despair; instead, do something about it if you can.” At times this might be to surrender to these feelings—to go easy and gentle on ourselves. At other times we can just as easily about-face our attitude by simply thinking differently, i.e. positively.
Force-Feeding Truth-Filled Happy Thoughts
Nothing of this is in the form of denial. It’s all truth and it’s all good.
We bay for a time in happy thoughts of things we’re happy for, and finally for the fact of inspiration—we’re making this right ourselves, and overcoming, with the power of the Spirit sponsoring our recovery. This is a proven method for resolving many, not all, unexplained miseries.
It’s not the thing to do for when we have real issues—particular stressors—that God wishes us to deal with. For those, there’s no denying, and we much go and deal with those things.
But, mechanical inspiration can work when we feel dazed and voided spiritually.
Try this method the next time you feel yourself jaded and inexplicably handicapped in life; if it’s not a complete surrender that will work, it might surely be that inspiring ourselves mechanically could be just the trick.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.