June 3, 2010

Breaking Bad

Just a play on the name of that TV series (which I do not watch)...

This post just seemed to fit that description. I like the idea of breaking something that is bad, well, that is how I look at it. Today was a perfect example of what it feels like to break out of a bad situation, a bad funk, or a bad mood. I was thinking about this on the way home from the hospital (my MIL is in for tests), and this idea came into my head. Most people will say that breaking any habit is difficult, and some really bad habits can be downright impossible to break (addictions especially). I have some bad habits that I would like to break free from, and today just seemed like as good a day as any to do it.

Psychologists say that it takes 21 days (3 weeks) to break a habit, and then 21 days to create a new habit in it's place (so 6 weeks, generally speaking). In my experience this is true, unless you have some divine intervention, and then some times a habit can be broken in one day (one moment). I have known addicts who were healed of their addiction the moment they trusted Jesus as their Savior. I have known several people like this and it is a miraculous thing. I have also know folks who have had to take the 12-steps, and have spent years trying to keep from succumbing into those old patterns. The blessing of Salvation is this: Jesus died to set us free from bondage to sin, and from the bondage to all things destructive in our lives. We do not have to live in bondage to anyone or anything. And, more so, His Grace enables us to overcome, not just for today, but for every day hence forth.

As I pondered my habits, and those that needed to be removed from my life, this one seemed most troublesome. I have a nasty habit of being indecisive. This has not always been the case with me. In fact, my personality is such that decisiveness is a key trait and component. This indecisiveness is something I have learned to do over the years. I am not really sure when it developed, but I am guessing it was at some point in my early marriage.

I hate to keep blaming my marriage or point to early faults, but in this case, I do think that this is probably correct. In my pre-married days, I had little to worry about, and very little decisions to make. I was in high school; then college. I worked part-time and full-time, but in positions that didn't have much authority. In short, I really didn't have to make any major decisions at all.

Once I was married, my decisions were small for a long while. Again, nothing really major happened, so nothing was the rule. However, after a time, we experienced some great financial difficulty, and then later, started down the road of financial liability (creditors calling, etc.) More circumstances erupted that required major involvement; unfortunately, being self-employed, and not financially stable -- decisions that could have averted long-term problems couldn't be made. We simply had no power to choose because we had placed ourselves in such a precarious position financially. For example, critical care was no longer available, so minor issues evolved into major issues, and then decisions that could have prevented more serious results were left unmade.

This process of choosing to not decide simply because of being in a powerless position actually set me up to where I am now. I am still living in a powerless position. I have no job, no steady income, and no way to "do the right thing." It is not that I am choosing to do the wrong thing, it just seems to always happen by default. The issue for me then becomes this: how do I start making decisions that will lead up and out, and not down and out?

The first way is to confess to the Lord that this is a major issue (problem) in my life (done so). The second way is to realize that this is not the Lord's normal for His Children. He desires us to be obedient to Him and to the governing authorities over us. We are called to work an honest job, and make an honest wage. This is what I aim to do -- but until a job materializes, I have to still practice making good choices.

I am getting better at making choices, this is for certain. What I am finding is that when I am confronted with a no-win situation, I revert back into the old way of doing nothing. Instead of trusting the Lord for His provision, I start to see my situation as being hopeless, no way out. This is not the Lord's will for my life, and I need to stop allowing myself to be turned around and sold back down into the bondage of indecisiveness.

Dear Lord,

I confess this to you today. You know how I struggle with making decisions. I am simply out of practice, and I need to make some pretty big ones very soon. Please give me the Grace to make the choices you want me to make. Amen, so be it.

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