Wait
Refresh
Become a Patron

Jason Silver

Web Development by CrookedBush.com Inc.

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 |

Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture

2020

March

Friday, March 27th, 2020
Related Song

I awakened at 1AM again last night, and since my friend overseas is in a time zone twelve hours away, I sent him a quick message. "Can't sleep, what's up?"

Like the wonderfully true friend he is, he asked me some questions about what might be keeping me awake. "What was I thinking about;" he asked, "what was the first thing on your mind when you woke up?"

I told him about some of my worries, and his response was so wise, so insightful, that I asked him if I could share it with all of you.

He said, "Since before all of this started with the coronavirus, I've been thinking a lot about mental health, (because of my teaching and some new projects I'm working on).

"The three most common mental health issues are depression, anxiety and addiction," he affirmed. "Not surprisingly, these are just amplified versions of emotions everyone struggles with." He told me about a counseling professor he knows, who said that depression and anxiety are the "common cold and flu" of the psychology world. "Everyone gets them at some point, and sometimes the symptoms are more severe than other times."

I agreed, saying that I've struggled with each of these in varying degrees.

He continued: "What's been percolating in my mind is the spiritual side of all this. Whatever your worldview, most people could agree that depression isn't the lack of joy, but it's the absence of hope. It drags your focus into the disappointments and regrets of the past."

"Yeah," I said. "That's been true for me."

"Anxiety is really the lack of peace," he said. "If we're not at peace about things we can't control, then it drags us into worries of the future that haven't even happened yet (and in many cases are unlikely to ever happen)."

"OK, that seems right," I agreed.

"Finally, addiction is the absence of joy," he said. "We can't find (or are unwilling to find) happiness, or pleasure, or satisfaction with our `lot in life.' Our solution is to find ways to numb ourselves, or escape the pain by focusing or fantasizing on anything else. These addictions drag us away from our pain and our monotony. It ends up sucking all of our time into something else that may give us temporary `joy,' but with diminishing returns."

"That makes a lot of sense," I said. And then he pulled it all together with this amazing sentence:

"In all three cases, the painful emotions of depression, anxiety, and addiction pull us away from living in the present moment. Depression drags us into the past, anxiety into the future, and addiction into some kind of alternative present. We are preventing ourselves from really living in the here and now– whether intentionally or not."

As I considered what he had to say, he reminded me that it's not just depression and anxiety one gets from being in isolation. So many of us our addicted to constant social media, addicted to staying ahead of the news, addicted to any number of vices in an effort to be distracted from reality.

So how do we respond? I think we need to make every effort to stay in the moment, and trust that God knows our past and our future, as it says in today's Psalm. God is acquainted with all of our ways! Even before a word is on our tongue, he knows it completely.

Can you trust him? Can you let him worry about the future, can you give him your past? Can you live in the moment, as a child of the Father?

Amen.