God, we’re Depressed…

Last night, I visited one of the Oasis home groups after the invitation from Kevin and some descriptive directions from Dave (“look for the house with the dog,” he said… no dog anywhere…). We spent most of the time talking about areas of unhealth in our lives. There wasn’t any advice giving, just listening and relating to each other. After listening and sharing, though, I felt like there was a distinct theme.

So many of us (and I think this is a greater issue among people, Christian or not…) get into this negative self-talk. Some of us are very synical and wish that we didn’t think so hard about things. Why can’t we just be positive like some people? (To quote the writer of Ecclesiates, “With more wisdom comes more sorrow; the more knowledge the more [depression]”… the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know, or we don’t like what we know) Some of us feel unbalanced. We feel guilty about enjoying the things we enjoy. We wish we could do more of this or more of that. And the solution often comes down to… “I need to get this area under control. I need to get a handle on this. I can control this. I can force this to happen.”

I am speaking from my own experience here. I wanted to offer some sort of insight but felt the need to avoid advice giving. I still want to avoid that now and so I would say it like this. I want to believe that finding more balance, being more disciplined,  stopping the negative self talk is not just about me making up my mind to do it. There is some of that involved, yes… but I have tried it. It doesn’t work. I simply cannot say, “Nate, stop being depressed.” And I wouldn’t dream of saying that to someone else. I want to believe that if I really pay attention to God’s presence in all things, in the questions, in the reassurances, in the loneliness, in the birds or the sunshine, that it is the Spirit that will give life to my life. I really want to believe that God in his love will play a great part in my organizing my life and becoming a whole person. I get this sense from the Bible that this is within his character. I get this sense that instead of trying to control and force my own will on things that if I pay attention and fall back into where he is taking me, that things will begin to move in line.

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