A Simple thing to Do When Life is Too Much
Tense Shoulders are a Symptom
I have a habit of storing tension in my shoulders. I am not sure why I store it. Do I think I might need it later?
When I am tense, anxious, tired or lonely it is a signal that I am trying to carry a load that I was not created to handle alone. I am learning to let my tight shoulders or gritted teeth be a reminder that I have a good father who is right here with me and loves me more than I can grasp.
I am growing up to be like a child.
This works for me:
- Slow down even inside.
- Feel the longing to rest, to depend on someone. Be aware of the wish that you had someone good and strong to dump your troubles on.
- Wonder if despite doubts and hurts, God really is for us.
- Express that longing to God. Get quiet and wait.
- Try out the thought that it must be true that God is the good Father who loves us, and is stronger than we imagine.
- Let the reality that God is our good Father wash over. Tell him bluntly about hurts, doubts and fear that urges you to pull back. Dump it on him.
- Rest there quiet inside.
Talking to that good Father
The Lord’s prayer was Jesus’ answer when the question was “teach us to pray.” It is simple and practical, yet so profound that there are new depths to explore even after a lifetime of praying it.
C.S. Lewis coined the expression “festooning the Lord’s Prayer”, we can hang our own paraphrase of the meaning of the words on to it like hanging garlands of pine branches over a doorway at Christmastime. It helps us live conscious of the care of a good Father.
The First 2 Words of the Lord’s Prayer:
Perfect parent who defines what father love is,
Thank you that you know what I need, and what is good for me. Sometimes I don’t know, but you do.
Thank you that you allow me to be near to you, to rest in your care for me as often as I want to run back to you.
(See Good and Beautiful God by James Smith, for more about these p words)
In the next few blog posts I will share a “festooned” paraphrase of the rest of the Lord’s Prayer.