It is so easy to get stuck, to feel trapped, to feel hemmed in on all sides in this world of ours…this world of plenty. In the midst of opulence and busy we can feel most needy and alone. In this world of overwhelming OPTIONS it is easy to feel hopeless and helpless…powerless to change our circumstances. In fact, it can be the overwhelming options that paralyze us and cause us to sit down perplexed…scared to death of our own volition.
What am I supposed to do?
What is the best choice?
So we stand behind doors that seem locked. And on the doors are names. Indecision. Exhaustion. Confusion. Hurt.
We stand there and what we do in response to the locked doors is kind of humorous. We start to think. A lot. Thinking isn’t a bad thing. Good grief no, but when you are tired and confused and full of shame…you can’t always think your way through to the other side. So, we think and think and think and think and think…and all of this thinking turns us into an engine on a turntable and we keep a thinkin and a thinkin and all we are doing is going round and round and round in circles in front of that locked door…blowing steam. For all of the energy we exert we sure don’t get very far.
There really is only one key to that locked door.
As a little girl playing tennis I had a tshirt that took a bible verse from the Psalms and gave it a double meaning. Let’s see if you can catch it:
I will enter His gates with thanksgiving and his COURTS with praise. Psalm 100:4.
Of course the context of this verse is one of a journey to the temple where a sacrifice will be made. But, first…the thanksgiving.and praise. The key to this locked door is taking our energy out of the overthinking…taking a deep breath…and with all of our BEING (not DOING…not THINKING) turning our hearts and minds towards our Maker with a spirit of thanksgiving and praise. Thanksgiving for where we are RIGHT NOW. Thanksgiving for the breath we feel entering into our noses. Thanksgiving for the sounds we hear coming in on waves to our eardrums. Thanksgiving for the friend who sent a simple message just a moment ago. Thanksgiving for the ingredients in your supper tonight. Thanksgiving for the television show you love to watch every Tuesday night. Thanksgiving for the way your old t-shirt feels on you after all of these years. Thanksgiving for the coolness on your skin when you go check the mail. Thanksgiving for a glass of water with crushed ice. Thanksgiving for the rhythm of the day’s order and routine. Thanksgiving for the bed to make and the clothes to fold.
And the next thing you know there are countless things right HERE, right NOW to be thankful for and the real magic, if I am ok to call it that, is that rather than a key to the locked door you all of a sudden realize that there is no door there at all. Your spinning and thinking and steaming created a door where there wasn’t one.
It is a leap of faith…this thanksgiving. It is a real act of abandon. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t feel right.
Don’t wait for THINKING that giving thanks makes sense to do it because in that moment it won’t…until you start. And then you can enter His courts, His presence with praise…which is where the real comfort is. You can enter the temple to make your sacrifice. You can enter His presence and sacrifice what you have needed to lay down all along.
Your worry and fretting and overthinking….and watch it burn up into a beautiful line of smoke.
Adapted from author Emily Stone, 11/13/12, at http://bit.ly/XS8s1p