I have slowly learned a really valuable lesson. It is good to seek out wiser and more experienced people and just listen to them. For the last 4 -5 months I have been taking time to sit with a friend, George. We spend some time with me pouring out my heart but most of the time I listen and I learn.
One thing I have learned lately is; I should talk to myself rather than the other way around.
This came up as we were sharing Psalm 42 especially verse 5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” You see the psalmist talks to himself rather than the other way around. His “soul” has been telling him about all his woes. This recounting from a worried soul robs him of his joy. The answer then is to tell his soul a thing or two. He will show this worried soul who is boss!
He counters the messages his worried and wearied soul has been sending with words of faith and of hope. He takes himself in hand. I remember a song from my youth “It takes a worried man to sing a worried song.” David had been singing a worried song and it was drowning out his psalmody.
George shared this because he recognized in me a tendency to listen to myself rather than to talk to myself. This requires slowing down and paying attention to what voice has my attention! When I am listening to myself rather than the other way around I must chose to stop and set my attention on the call to faith and hope.
In a deluge of woe and self-pity this can be a daunting task but God is able to help me to do what I otherwise could not do. There is another song from my youth “It only takes a spark”. I know it has been way over used but there is truth. The voice of hope and faith is the call upon the Almighty to come to my assistance.
So my second hand advice is this “talk to yourself not the other way around!”
My friend Catherine was telling me a cute story about one of our Up Town members. Catherine had been joking that “they were going to come for her and take her to a rubber room” G. said “I wouldn’t let them. I would go in your place!” Catherine was so touched by this heart-felt spontaneous offer. The story points us all to Jesus our great substitute, who took our place so we can live in his freedom.