My friend’s text message confronted me all evening. I wanted to respond, but honestly, I just didn’t have the energy. I reread it a couple times thinking I’d find momentum to take another step, but there were no steps to be found.
Early this morning my memory reminded me the text was still there…still knocking at the door. Yesterday I felt flat and lifeless, but today, I felt thoughtful enough to respond. My friend wasn’t waiting for a response…at least I don’t think he was, but something stirred within, and it was starting to come forward.
Feelings and the Adrenaline Rush
One thing I’ve learned over the years of working with people is that emotions are incredibly powerful. As a coach, I would equate emotions with adrenaline. When the gun goes off in a race, the adrenaline surges and we bust off the starting line at a pace most of us won’t be able to maintain for the duration of the race. If we’re not mindful enough to reign our self in to a pace we’ve trained to run, we may not accomplish our goal of finishing the race. Feelings are like a racehorse, but seldom is life a sprint.
Emotions can provide a tremendous source of fuel, but if not put in check, we toss the game plan altogether and become reactive to the environment instead of dictating it. It may not be sexy, but staying with a well thought out game plan despite what we see…despite what we feel, is solid wisdom. Obviously in the coaching world, game plans must be tweaked and in-game adjustments must be made but to a great extent, our trust must be anchored in logic over feelings, and that is where game plans are developed.
Feelings Should Ride Shotgun
Another thing I’ve learned over the years is that feelings can be deceptive. A WARNING: never let feelings drive the bus. It’s okay for them to be in the passenger seat, but do not let them behind the wheel of the bus. Proper input from feelings will take you down some awesome roads with beautiful scenery, but if allowed to drive, you’ll no doubt be on a roller coaster ride that brings both nausea and road rage.
Feelings and Fashion
Okay, now I’m stepping way out of my league. Fashion to me is a dress T-shirt free from any coffee stains around the belly so please see the metaphor and not the messenger here.
A couple days ago, my lovely wife sported some fancy red shoes for an evening date down in the theatre district in Denver…wanted it known that I can have culture once in a while. I commented on the shoes and she proudly informed me the shoes accessorize the outfit…did I even say that right? That evening I saw three other ladies and a dude wearing bright red shoes…hmmm.
Well…the only thing I want to really say about fashion is feelings should always be a part of the outfit we wear through life…but they should be worn as an accessory. Facts should be the outfit; feelings should be the accessory…getting them reversed could make for an overly exposed person.
Facts V. Feelings
As I mentioned at the beginning, this story was birthed out of a text conversation with my friend. We were talking about the idea of living a lifestyle built on praise and gratitude for how good God is. My friend is dealing with some long term issues and he has good days and bad days. The past few days have not been so good. My delay in responding was because I was not in a good place either. He said he was trying to remain anchored in an attitude of praise, but it was hard. I could empathize with him.
As I considered the response stirring within me, I came to the conclusion that our praise toward God should be grounded in the facts. It certainly can include our feelings…but how many of you know there are many times when “ya just don’t feel like praising Him.”
When a person begins to consider the facts of what God’s done for us…what He’s done for me…the facts lead to the ultimate conclusion He is totally worthy of being praised regardless of whether we feel like it or not.
FACT: Whether we acknowledge Him or not, He is on the throne today. He is large and in charge. I for one am grateful knowing that despite what I see going on around me in the chaos of this world, He is on the throne.
FACT: Though a chasm was created between myself and this incredibly loving God because of rebellion, He built the bridge back to me…restoring me if I would but accept His gift given at the Cross. The bible talks about the Cross being foolishness to many but it is the power of God to save and restore for those who have chosen to accept it. I made that choice to accept it. What about you?
FACT: As a follower of Christ, I am assured that my treasures are safely held in Heaven. There are warnings about the sky falling which could result in financial crises, global-warning that will destroy our mother, terrorism driven by hate spawned in the pit of hell…and although we must be discerning, I am assured my treasures are safe. I like my toys for sure, but the treasures of this world can’t be taken with me anyway so my fears can be brought into submission to the facts.
FACT: I’m 55 years old and although I wonder what life will look like in 10 years for my wife and I, this life is lived with complete assurance that the One in charge, the One sitting on the throne, has plans and purposes for my life that will bring life to me and those impacted by me. I am also assured by His word that he actually created good works for me before I was even born. I am convinced that my later years will be filled with passion and purpose beyond my ability to comprehend in this current moment.
There are so many more facts which I have chosen to anchor my perspective upon, but for anyone who has chosen to accept the same gift I accepted from Jesus Christ, you get what I’m talking about. For my friends who don’t share these same beliefs and think I’m a bit out there, well… at least I didn’t keep my beliefs hidden from you.
Moving Toward Maturity in Our Walk
If we have any desire to grow into the people we were meant to become, our actions must be dictated by eternal facts as they are laid out in God’s word. He is awesome! He created awesome things! Oh…and you were created in His image. Those are facts…accept them and let them drive the bus.
A Funny Thing About Those Darn Facts
When we start focusing on the facts about who God is, and what He’s done for us, it’s amazing how perspective comes into alignment with truth.