Sunday, October 5, 2008

Getting Out of Your Boat: Paradox Abounds

In these challenging times , it seems many are tempted to swing reactively in their thinking from an Eeyore-like "we're doomed" mentality to an opposite view such as, "everything's perfect exactly the way it is." Although it's helpful to remind ourselves of individual differences, it's wise for all of us to expand our support system to help us get an honest assessment of how we're REALLY doing. King Solomon wrote, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but in the multitude of counselors they succeed." You may be sinking in your boat of life because you're feeling overwhelmed with life stressors, or you fear failure so much you refuse to take any risks in life, or you're oblivious of the fact that your spouse, children, or friends are miserable because what's perfect for you is actually hurtful to them. Regardless of your life circumstances, THERE IS HOPE. Some wise solution-focused therapists made a lot of money years ago on two basic concepts; (1) If you're doing something that's not working, try something new, and (2) if you're doing something that's working, do more of it. Regardless of one's economic, relational, emotional, physical, spiritual state (or pretty much any other word ending with "al"), become quicker to listen to what others whom you trust are saying. Maybe you think your boat is full of water, maybe you don't. Regardless, paradoxically your boat will sink if you don't listen to the warning signs from your loved ones and/or their words of encouragement. Should you listen to their calls, perhaps you will be heeding your Lord's call toward a better tomorrow. We're relational, sensitive creatures who weren't designed to live alone. After all, one of the worst things we can ever say to someone else going through a tough time is "it could be worse." Yet, one of the best things we can ever say to ourselves going through a tough time is "it could be worse." Paradoxical news and the Good News of God's grace abound!