I guess my last blog was dark and pissy... and while I'm not ready to be all social-butterflyish again, I don't think I feel that antagonistic towards friendship and people anymore.
Lots on my mind though...
I find that when I'm struggling with depression, reading good books helps tremendously. I've been prescribed birth control for anti-depressant purposes (since it never worked for actual birth control purposes, LOL) with the goal of balancing my hormones. Specially during the winter, when I get so little natural sunlight, and it seems to throw me in for a loop. But with these kinds of things, medically, it takes about a month for it to really have effect.
So between here and there, all I have is prayer and... redirecting my thought process. I have to get my mind off the negative, and its very hard to think negative thoughts when you are reading a really good book. I learned this from a wise mentor I had once...
So I'm reading, "When I Don't Desire God" by John Piper. I happen to like John Piper, because he's the man who produced the famous quote: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Brilliant! Anyhow, in his book, he talks about how there is no real joy in Christianity without a passionate desire for Christ, and without the joy and desire it's no real Christianity. I may have just talked myself into a loop. But his argument is that Christianity based on just doing the dos is not one that glorifies God or draws others to be interested in Christ. I can kind of parallel it to sex (with the author's permission, because he uses this analogy too); the difference in the experience of sex between both the man and the woman when there is a desire for one another and a joy (or pleasure) in one another... versus sex out of obligation, fear, or manipulation.
Wow. That parallel actually helped tremendously! For me anyhow. Paul would feel terrible if I only had sex because I feared the consequence of not doing so, or if I only did it because I was obligated as his wife. I can imagine how Christ feels about our worship, or our "Christian" life if we lived solely in the dos and don'ts in order to avoid hell or simply out of moral duty. And I shall insert a quote here:
"If Christ is followed only because his gifts are great and his threats are terrible, he is not glorified by his followers. A defective lord can offer great gifts and terrible threats. And a person may want the gifts, fear the threats, and follow a lord whom they despise or pity or find boring or embarrasing, in order to have the gifts and avoid the threats. If Christ is to be glorified in his people, their following must be rooted in... His glorious Person...His works are great because He is great."
On the flip-side, Paul would also feel horrible if I needed to use sex to manipulate him to get something else I wanted. He would probably be appalled that I didn't believe he cared enough about me to give me what I wanted or needed regardless of whether or not I had sex with him. I think this is the real challenge; to not try to be a "Christian" just to get your prayers answered. But its so hard! The bigger the need, the more I feel obligated to be on "my best behavior", simply so that by my own screw ups I don't get left behind or neglected. Maybe a little bit of Santa Claus mentality? "He's making a list, checking it twice - gonna find out who's naughty or nice..." It gets quite exhausting!
Well when manipulation doesn't work, I turn to despair and hopelessness. And hope can be so difficult to hold on to; to sincerely believe that better things are on their way and be thankful and excited even though they are not here yet? I am so weary I may as well be dead by the time they arrive and so I consider it useless. But living without hope makes the fight worthless - why wake up in the morning? Why even try? So in being hopeful or hopeless I find myself wavering between the lesser of two difficulties, depending on my mood that morning and on how effective I am at altering the course of my thought process into a better perspective. "As a Man Thinketh..."