Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What do you live for?

I've been struggling. Wanting to write another post, but knowing it would not be an easy straight forward one to write. I want to continue writing about things my pastor Don has talked about - things that I've found very inspiring. Maybe I'll do this in bits and write two or three posts on the topic. Small bites are so much easier to chew.

Don asked, "Are you ever moved by something that grips your heart? Do you take the time to allow yourself to be moved by something, or do you live a too-busy, too self-centered life?" Everyone has something that bothers them deeply. Is there something - even a small thing - you can do to make things better?

"Do you have a sense that your life counts for something? Do you have direction?" Don quotes Seneca who said, "If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind." If we can take the time - quiet time with God - to chew on the things that bother us and look for a way that we could help, perhaps we could find direction for our lives. Life would become meaningful.

Many years ago now I was very bothered by the stigma that's attached to mental illness. This discontent would not go away. I was angered by it, knowing that mental illness was not anything a sufferer could help. It just isn't fair to be saddled by shame, as well as the symptoms of a painful disorder.

Bill Hybels wrote a great little book called Holy Discontent. The description of "holy discontent" on the back cover reads:

"What is the one aspect of this broken world that, when you see it, touch it, or get near it, you just can't stand? What reality is so troubling that it thrusts you off the couch and into action? This is what Bill Hybels refers to as a holy discontent: a personal 'firestorm of frustration' that, although sparked by that which is terribly wrong, can catalyze fierce determination to set things right. It is often during these eye-opening heart-hungering moments of engagement when you will hear God whisper, "I feel the exact same way about this situation. Now, let's go solve it together.'"

I had a discontent that would not go away. God lit a fire in me that won't die. The result has been many articles, two books, and the founding of Living Room, a faith-based support program for people with mood disorders.

Does it bother you too that people with mental health issues don't get more acceptance and better support from the church? Do you also feel such a "holy discontent?" Would you too like to form a Christian support group for people with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders in your church?

I never thought I'd be able to facilitate such a group. But I found out that when God is in it, He will do the work. All we to do is to share His love with others. You'd be surprised at what can happen.

If you're interested in joining me in God's vision to create a good place for Christians with mood disorders to meet together, I hope you'll check out the Living Room website and get involved.

1 comment:

Paula Joy said...

"If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind." What an amazing quote! EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Is God's timing perfect, or what??!!