Every day we are told lies. Told them by our own worst enemy, ourselves. The question is, do we listen? Your lies might sound like one of these: my life is always going to be this terrible; I will never, ever accomplish my goals; nothing I do matters. These slinking, tarry thoughts whispered in our unwary minds may seem valid, but appearances do not make fact. Recognizing falsehoods when they creep in, calling them out, and battling them with logical truth is the only way out of their crippling clutches. If we let them simmer and grow, they will consume us.
Here is some combative firepower for your arsenal:
The Curse of Sisyphus
Life is a process of change. Sometimes you will face more cataclysms than at other times. Sometimes the struggles will be merely different in nature. But rest assured, they will not cannot stay exactly the same forever. We all know the quote by Heraclitus, “Change is the only constant in life.” And that is a beautiful gift. Life may be hard, but it isn’t Hades, and we aren’t Sisyphus, cursed to push a boulder up the mountain every day for eternity. Know that change is present, even if it is slow or invisible, and that adversity has the potential to produce improvement: personal, relational, and situational. A nineteenth-century author, Arnold Bennet, said, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by discomforts.” Don’t waste the suck. Let it make you better.
The Pit of Nihilism
What you do does matter if you do it for Christ. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31. Are you eating? Are you drinking? Are you doing them for God’s glory? Then what you do must matter, else God wouldn’t have bothered to write about it. It’s not about what you feel. “The heart is deceitful above all things…” Jeremiah 17:9. Our hearts sway with the wind. Cling to what is true.
The Lost Dream
No one ever accomplished their goals while believing they couldn’t. No one knows what the future may hold. Life can take an unexpected turn at any moment. Who’s to say your dream won’t become a reality? Your dreams may morph and shift, and that’s okay. Oftentimes when dreams do come to fruition, we have adapted them so many times they are unrecognizable, but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful or less to be celebrated. Goals are like the work of an apprentice potter: lumpy, strange, and impractical, at first, but with improvement, they take form. It is good that they have been altered, not a sign of failure.
Life is an adventure, unpredictable, and frightening, but it is ours for the living.
Don’t let lies steal it away.
Don’t listen to lies, beloved,
That say you’re not enough,
That you will fail
Or are too frail
Or that life is just too rough.
Don’t listen to lies, beloved,
That in praise hear a slight.
Don’t ever flee
From what you can be.
Believe and your dreams can take flight
Don’t listen to lies, beloved.
But shout the truth in wonder.
Let God’s grace
Shine from His face,
Banishing your fears asunder.
*Next week’s post will show a painting I’ll finally have finished! Come around if you are curious about gouache vs. watercolor and to hear a poem about “A strange woman who lived in a strange house all covered with ivy within and without.”
May the stars ever shine on your path.