Thursday, November 29, 2012

Desires and Fears

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio 

Today we get to hear from Wesley the Wailing who alway has a tummy ache.
"It takes so much to smile a smile a frown in so much quicker"~ Wesley Whale

1 John 4:17-19 (NKJV) 

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Wesley the Wailing Whale
He is actually fond of tummy aches because it gives him something to wail and moan about.
Sometimes  we start to identify who we are with our problems. If Jesus were to remove that problem from our lives we would be forced to re-imagine who we are. Generally it is easier to just wish things would change and talk about what you would do and moan. 
With my coaching there is a journaling activity that I like to use with people called The Leash.

Think of a mental image of a dog pulling wildly at its leash, barking like crazy at a cat, as if to say, "Just lemme at 'em." The cat looked mean – and was just about as big as the dog. All of a sudden in the middle of a ferocious bark, the leash snapped so the dog was free to go after the cat. He looked astonished. Scared to death. He quickly grabbed the leash, and runs back and ties a triple knot. Then, he could again safely strain at the leash and bark with gusto, "Just lemme at 'em."

Jeff King, a writer who's blog I follow wrote another insightful post about the man at the pool of Bethesda. He titled the post What Do You Want. Here's the link. I think you will enjoy it.

In his post he talks about how we have two levels of need.
Level one is the superficial. "Level two is being well. This speaks of a deeper,
more holistic view of healing. It reaches into the core of our being to create meaning
and purpose. It deals with significance, security, mission and value." ~Jeff King

I love it when writers like Jeff see something that I completely missed in a bible story. I don't love it but I am helped when people around me unknowingly hold up a mirror for me. I can so easily see faults in others but I realized I can only see them because I do the same things in other ways. Ouch. I have to take that dang plank out of my own eye before I can help others with the speck in theirs. That was for free, bonus material - I got off on a side note.

Like the story of the leash we can think that if we just solved our superficial level one kind of need that we would be well. Most often there are deeper need that really must be met first. Just like the dog we really don't want to be free because then we would really have to step up and really do all those things to change that we have been moaning about. I love this quote 
Samuel Seal

“Every story of an obstacle has a shadow story of desire. The obstacle contains yet conceals the desire. What you seek is camouflaged in what you fear.” Tony Stoltzfus
Ok so I read that and I say ouch. It forces me to look at those things I want and ask the question do I want that bad enough to face what I most fear. For me one of the things I say I want is to intimate and deep relationships with people.  I have to admit they are also what I most fear. To have intimate and deep relationships one must be willing to trust people, one must be willing to come out from behind the walls that we build. One must be willing to share the parts of our selves that we are afraid if others see them that they will no longer like us. I can be a very good actress and act the parts that I think people expect of me. It is harder to put down the mask and be open and honest about what I really like, or feel called to do, or how I am feeling.  I have to get past my own protection mechanisms that I have put in place.  I am a master at changing the focus of a conversation away from myself. Most people are self absorbed enough to not even notice. I catch myself doing this even with people I trust. I have to push myself to circle back and say one of my defense mechanisms kicked in and actually share the real answer not just what I think they expected to hear. Sometimes it takes me longer to process through things. For example while it is easy for me to write openly it is difficult for me to talk openly in a conversation. I don't like it when the focus is on me. I get really un comfortable. My flight or fight reflex kicks in. Not being much of a fighter my tendency is to run away. For a long time I thought I was unique and alone in my fears. As I have gotten brave and opened up to others I have begun to realize that we all struggle and put on various masks to hide what is either shameful to us or precious to us from others. On the shameful side we fear that if people knew our dark places that they would no longer want to know us. We miss out on deeper friendships because we are afraid of loosing the shallow ones that we already have. On the precious side of things we are so afraid that others will criticize and pick us apart like they do on American Idol that we don't share the precious gift for fear that it will be trampled and damaged. 

Well I am out of time for today. I trust I have given you plenty to chew on for one day. I would love it if some of you would comment from time to time. I so thankful to those of you who do give me feed back and for those who do hold me accountable.

Prayer: Lord help us to take a hard look at that desire/fear thing. Help us to get beyond what ever our surface need or desire is and allow you to come in and heal the deeper broken places in each of us.

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