I was tired last night and quite empty, so my feelings were magnified and exaggerated feelings. You know the kinds… when you start using the "always" and "nevers".... when actually, it's really just one,… maybe a couple, but not really so many. And too, often times in your defeat of one thing, it seems like you've "always" failed the whole world at "every" thing. That was my moment's feeling.
I had written to a girl right before bed apologizing for not having something exciting to say to her. I couldn’t. I had run out of exciting. Run out of happy. Run out of energy. I had run out of gas. I told her that it's not that I'm so tired really. Just feeling empty. And not a bad empty. But I felt that if you could open me up to look inside you'd find that I had no more words inside to say. I had said them all. I’d used them all up. I’d totally run out. My ‘saying’ was dry.
So on the way to the office (in my totally drained feeling mood of the moment) today, I told God that I've been running around like an idiot, doing my best to keep filling everybody's cup up as fast as I know how to, trying to help everybody with all their problems; and even with all that, even with all the words that I've said trying to help them in it, everybody's still stuck in their stuff! I said to Him, 'Oops, my pot's empty and nobody's left filled! No one’s been satisfied!
I told God that people don't want to hear what you've told them. They want, instead, to still groan in their moan, sing in their blues, pity in their party. He gave us a list of things to think about ( Phil 4:8 ), good things!... but nobody wants to! Nobody wants to renew their minds ( Rom 12:2;), or take their negative thoughts captive ( 2 Cor 10:3-5 ;). They like what their minds are focused on. They want (and might I even suggest (though they'll say that they don't) that they like!) to rock their dead! And some of those things that they're rocking have been dead for 15 years and more! So they go to the tombs to try to find life... and 'cut' themselves ( Mt 8:28-34;Mk 5:1-5; Lk 8:26-30;). I could literally picture all of these people sitting in old rocking chairs in their graveyards, chained to the grave of their dead thing... with a life's supply of tissues for their tears in their laps. And I concluded that there is something about all of us that likes to rock our dead.
We want to!
We like to cry!
What is that?
I asked a girl that was riding with me last night, “Do we all just want to hurt or what?” Because (though it sure sounds weird and most might argue the point) I think there's something inside all of us that really just likes to sometimes. It's fun being sad. Not really..... but there's some weird thing inside us that kind of enjoys it somehow. Oh, we wouldn't say that we did. We wouldn't think that we do. But why is it, even when all of the world is going right all around us, we have every necessity we need and lots that we don’t, we are so incredibly blessed, we’ve got so much to be thankful for… then why, do we look for something to mourn? Are we that desperate for an exaggerated feeling? Is there some morbid thing in all of us that simply likes bleeding?
Back to the verse that I eluded to in Philippians 4:8 where God gave us a list of good things to think on ("whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]."). I could imagine God asking us, "What are you thinking? What are you taking an account of? Where have your “fixed” your mind?” And then, after we’ve answered honestly, I could imagine hearing Him tell us not to think of those things, but to "think on these things...." (and He gives us this list).
"What are you thinking?" He asks us. And then, He tells us what’s best, "Think on these things....."
"What are you thinking?"..... "Think on these things......"
"What are you thinking?"..... "Think on these things......"
But we tell God, "NO! I won't! I don’t want to think on that! I'll think on what I want to think on! I'd rather think on this!"
Oh my, don’t get me wrong; we don’t tell Him that with our words. But we do with our actions! And good grief, some of us have been thinking on that thing that we've been thinking on now for the past twenty-something years!... and we want to keep on thinking on it!
By the time I got to the office I thought, the whole world (it seems!) likes rocking their dead. We love to rock old things. We'll rock any 'ole thing! Old wounds. Old hurts. Old haunts. Old scars. Old scares. Old deaths. Old hits. Old slaps. Old words. Old guilts. Old regrets. Old could-haves. Old couldn't haves. Old should-haves. Old shouldn't-haves. Old cans. Old can'ts. Old wants. Old won'ts. Old dos. Old don’ts. Old dids. Old didn’ts.......... Simply any old thing will do….. as long as it's good to hurt!!I It truly doesn’t matter that it’s superbly old and it's long since been dead… as long as it makes us bleed.
Then, after my quandary with Him I went in, sat at my desk, began my work, and didn't think about it again…..
It wasn't until the very end of my day that I realized it. God was talking to me this morning! Ouch! Somehow He always manages to do that! I don't think that He's ever shown me a lesson to show someone else that He didn't need to teach me first. I guess that I'm often a blind and deaf stiff-necked soul; so God has to show me somebody else, in order that I might be able to see myself. (Kind of like He did with David via Nathan in 2 Samuel 12;). Here I was pointing my fingers and complaining about all those who are holding their ‘dead’ and rocking up a storm; while I sat rocking in my own chair, holding my own cherished 'old' thing clutched tight in my arms held close to my chest. I was chained to the grave of my yesterday, with eyes too blind to see it. Losing myself to then again, and wasting the today I was given. When I finally realized what I’d been doing I wondered to myself, "Well Sharon, let’s be real, exactly how long do you plan on rocking it?"
If you’ll remember the story we’re told of Lot in Genesis 19 when God sent two angels to rescue him and his wife and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah before He totally destroyed it because of its wickedness. One of the angels tells Lot and those that were with him to, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” The KJV says it this way, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; Escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”
Simply noted (from the concept of those verses just read), sometimes we’re in desperate need to flee for our lives! We need to heed to the warning that they we’ve been warned with, Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere…. because if we don’t, if we don’t escape for our lives and go on living, if we don’t quit rocking our dead, we’ll be swept away and consumed by our sorrow.
Are you guilty of rocking your dead like I've been? Mind if I ask you how old the thing is that you've been rocking? And for goodness sake, just how long on this earth are you planning on rocking it?
I need to let go of some things and put some dead things down. I need to re-bury some things that I’ve become pretty good at burying, only to go back and dig back up.... again and again and again for too many years to admit it.
If you’ve got an ‘old thing’ like I've had… it’s dumb of us both to keep rocking what makes no sense anymore to keep peeling the scab and bleediing over. Like I made reference to above, we'll be swept away and consumed in our sorrow if we don't decide to let go and be freed from its chains that binds us.