I don’t like climbing mountains, so I was surprised to find I am a mountain climber. The rocks are life’s challenges. The sheer height is fear of failing. The climbing gear is my relationship with Christ, and His Word. And the climb? My continuous choice to overcome.
I was looking for useful tools the other day for a friend who is fighting depression, and came across a podcast by John Piper (his youtube channel is Desiring God). Thanks Julie for suggesting it.
As embarrassing as it is to admit – I can’t remember which bible verse he quoted, but He tells us the best way to overcome depression is to gaze at God. At first I scoffed “oh come on – it can’t be that simple.”
You never want to give people advice that you can’t take yourself, so I pondered John’s words.
I didn’t understand.
“How do I gaze at You?” I asked God.
And then I sat very still and quieted my thoughts and waited. An answer came. You gaze at God by not staring at the world.
I personalized “the world”. What did that represent for me? I had been watching mystery/crime television, when I could have been playing music, or writing, or even resting. The information consumed left me feeling fatigued and restless. Images of struggle and death were the last flashes before I fell asleep. Not something a mountain climber needed to reach the summit.
A light bulb moment, fuel for the fire, energy for the climb! If you find yourself slipping, if you find yourself stuck, if you recognize you are out on a limb going no where – perhaps some reflection is needed on what or whom you’ve been staring at?
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:22 (NIV)
Guess what? I skipped television tonight and wrote instead, as well as visited with some friends. Our conversation was very focused on….you guessed it, my best friend. tonight I think we’re going to be mountain climbing in my sleep:)