“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.“
-1 Corinthians 13:11-12
I’m not sure how I ended up 34 years old, but here I am. I’m sure I will blink again, and my children will be grown (God willing). The days seem long, but the years seem short. Truth be told, I get stuck in autopilot more often than not. I still find myself there more often than I would like to admit, even writing a book about the importance of getting out of autopilot. Hey, I’m just doing my best over here. Numerous times in my book, I quoted Ira Israel‘s How to Survive Your Childhood Now That You’re An Adult: A Path to Authenticity and Awakening. My heart has been struggling this week, and it seemed like a great time to revisit this fantastic resource. It is not a Christian book, but it has a lot of valuable insight about examining the faulty thought processes we learned as children that are blocking us from finding the happiness we seek as adults. One of my favorite quotes was, “Letting our minds tell us things “should” have been different - things we cannot go back in time and change - is an absurd waste of time. Wishing we could change something we cannot is a resentment. And resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to get sick. We only cause our own suffering.” Pg. 142 I did this a lot while I was an active addict, which drove me to take pills and drink. Although life is significantly better now that I am 3.5 years sober, I still have deeply engrained self-centered tendencies and unrealistic expectations that rear their ugly head from time to time. For example, yesterday I raised my voice and got ugly with a friend at a coffee shop over an issue that can’t be proven or disproven. My deep-rooted insecurity of being seen as incompetent sent me on the defensive and I puffed up like a blowfish. Not my finest moment. I left very rudely, and the way I presented my argument was far from loving. Even if I was right (not saying I was even though I usually am... just kidding... ), it is far better to be kind than right. If it hadn’t have been for another Sister in Christ sending me a devotional that morning about the importance of forgiveness, I would probably still be simmering in my pride and anger right now. This is why it is so important to get plugged in with a network of other believers to do life with, but I digress. After an hour-long pity party, I calmed down enough to realize that I needed to do a spot check inventory and make immediate amends. So I swallowed my pride and apologized. It was the adult thing to do. I can’t afford to hold onto poisonous resentments. I used to hold onto grudges for years, so at least I’m showing progress in that area. It’s all about progress and not perfection. That’s the hard part about growing up. It never seems to get easier. When you get one set of problems hashed out, a whole new batch arrives. Just when you think you have learned a lot, you realize how little you know. It’s exhausting at times, and I make myself neurotic, trying to fix everything. Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” That’s where faith comes in. To get out of autopilot and stop the insanity, I have to admit to God that I have a problem that I cannot solve. Then I have to have faith that when I genuinely turn it over, He will help me because He can see the solution when I can’t see it for myself. That’s where 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 takes on another level of understanding. I am a child of God, and I think like a child of God. The more I grow in Christ, the more I will give up my childish ways. I will die to my flesh and let Him have more and more control over my life. However, on this side of Heaven, the view will always be dim. It will always be distorted, and my ways will not be His ways. Learning to be okay with that is half the battle. One day, when I am face to face with Jesus, everything will finally make sense. All of the pain, confusion, shame, and disappointment will be revealed for what it really was. I will realize how little any of what I thought was important actually mattered. Jesus has always fully known me, but I can’t say the same for Him. My lenses are dirty. But one day, when I leave my earthly body behind, I will be with the one who has always loved me unconditionally. I look forward to that day and pray He comes soon. I realize we are all pressed for time, but How To Survive Your Childhood Now That You’re An Adult really is an excellent read if you get a chance. They even have it on Audible... just saying. More importantly, if you are going to read anything, read the Word. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, which means you have to love yourself. Or at least try to. The struggle is real. Have a fantastic week, and God bless.