“We must all wage an intense, lifelong battle against the constant downward pull. If we relax, the bugs and the weeds of negativity will move into the garden and take away everything of value.”
— Jim Rohn
Fickle is this life, in that there are two directions we can head. We either go forwards in growth or we retreat and shrivel. Life is either hypertrophy or atrophy. We glorify God or we offend God. It is a very black and white life, though we often blend the two and all appears grey. But life is never really grey so far as time is concerned.
If we accept that life is either forwards or backwards—and that we have much say over which way we will go—we can commit to the battle.
Pushing Determinedly Forward
Without reaching into burnout, our task is to steadily move forward in life, by investing not in the capital of materialism, but in the capital of our vital spirituality.
Retaining what is of value isn’t such an easy prospect when we consider that the hardest part about reaching the top is staying there. When we have arrived at a significant milestone in our spiritual pilgrimage, we can be ensured that the devil will be trying especially hard to set ructions through our camp. The moment we take our spiritual growth for granted we have arrived at a precipice of pride; a fall may be imminent.
Instead, it would be better to keep pushing gently forward, to not rest on our laurels, to not celebrate our successes for too long. When things go well humility is even more important. It is good to honestly acknowledge what we have achieved, and then move forward.
Triple Nemesis – Our Sinful Nature, the World, and Satan
We can know that those forces that pull us downward are triple in strength.
Our sinful natures need no nurturing; our brokenness is innate. Exacerbating our sinful nature is any abuse or neglect we have had to deal with. Then in comes the combination: with the sinful nature, the world and all its temptations. Together with the sinful nature, and Satan’s constant scheming, the world is the battlefield, and worldliness is our enemy of negativity.
But tending our Inner Garden, by keeping our spirits well swept, so we can maintain a residence where the Holy Spirit can comfortably reside, resists the Triple Nemesis.
Keeping a knowledgeable awareness of our sinful nature at the forefront of our minds is the first step. Being wary of the world—another step of awareness—is the second step. And not allowing Satan a foothold is the third and final step.
The steps of awareness ward us against encroaching negativity.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.