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Pain Focuses Us on Ourselves, but Also on the Present Moment

Just had knee surgery for a torn meniscus. At the same time, a suspicious spot was discovered in my husband’s lung. And my youngest son, the father of four, discovered that his heart rate has become alarmingly low. Both of them are seeing specialists tomorrow. Yesterday, the pain in my knee finally stopped and I resumed my normal habit of worrying about the future, particularly about those I love. I knew that pain makes us self-centered, but I had never thought about how much it keeps us focused on the present moment. This may seem obvious and not particularly significant, but psychological pain does the same thing. It not only makes us self centered, but may be part of the reason that people get trapped in destructive patterns of behavior. They can’t focus on future consequences when overwhelmed by present pain.
I am not sure where this train of thought is going, but it helps me understand and be a little more patient with those who get trapped in repetitive patterns of poor choices.

Meanwhile, if you are into prayer, please include my husband Julian and my son, Tommy. Thanks so much.

Consider Yourselves Leaked On.

Rick Warren, author of A Purpose Driven Life, says, “When you think of a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry.  When you think of a Scripture over and over in your mind, that’s called meditation. If you know how to worry, then you already know how to meditate.”

He goes on, “Meditation is simply focused thinking.  Prayer lets us speak to God.  Meditation lets God speak to us.”

And the best part to me, “The more you meditate on God’s word, the less you worry.”

He concludes that a relationship with God, that includes prayer and meditation as part of a life style of worship, leads to an awareness of the presence of God with you.

He also points out that life is a series of problems.  Either we are in one now, just coming out of one,  or getting ready for another one.  Rick says the reason for this is that God is more interested in our character than our comfort.

Another jewel that resonated for me in this book is, “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep trying to crawl off the altar.”  Love that one.

One of the daily reflections he suggested was to come up with a metaphor for our own life.  I considered a journey, a three stooge’s movie, an obstacle course, a soap opera, but suddenly I remembered a story a friend sent me.

It was a story of a woman in a village going to the well everyday and carrying water home.  Her pots were old and cracked and they leaked, so by the time she got home, a lot had leaked out. (I’ve always said that I’m Spirit filled, but I leak, so I do relate to her plight.)  The woman felt she was a failure, because so much water was lost along the way.  Then God showed her the flowers along the path, that had bloomed because the water had leaked there over the years.

I have such a bad memory and have to relearn so many things, a spiritual director once told me that I had spiritual Alzheimer’s.  So, like the cracked pot, I leak whatever I hear of value, hoping it will take root for others, and I can relearn it from them.

Consider yourselves “leaked on.”