Matthew Poole joins the Blog again with another thoughtful piece.
His Book “Salt and Light: Being the Hands and Feet of Christ” is available this Septemeber.
Black, white, yellow, red; straight, gay, pans, trans. No matter the great the number of differences there are among us, there are also many things that we have in common. One of those is our uncanny, almost irresistible disposition to be or act as creatures of habit. Believe me, the habitual nature of our solutions and decisions transcend the gambit of most personalities, cultures, education, and belief systems. We don’t like our norms (social or private) being broken or messed with, even when those norms become devastating to us or those around us.
The truth is, once we’ve made a conscious decision, it’s easier for us to continue repeating it, consequences or not.
I can’t speak for the battered spouse, but as an officer I can attest to the number of times I or others have viewed or responded to the same residence over and over, time after time for domestic violence situations wondering “why doesn’t he/she just leave him/her?” “Why do they keep putting themselves in that situation?” I know the answer would take longer than one would want to explain, and there are a number of different ones, so I won’t delve too deep into it.
I had a District Attorney once tell me it was as easy as picking a chair. I’m sure anyone of you would fit in this story as well, but let’s just pretend you’re a cop right now.
You show up to class, walk into the room, look about to size it up, pick a good chair with a tactical view, adjust to your settings, and set to work. You break for lunch and upon coming back…what do you do? You sit in the same chair. It was that easy, and don’t tell me you wouldn’t have been thrown off if someone else was in your spot.
Now I’m not trying to compare domestic violence to picking a chair, so let’s maintain our knee jerks to a minimum, but what she was trying to relay was how easy it is to get set in our ways, even if they are temporary.
What positions are we assuming everyday because we are comfortable with them, even when they hurt us?
For me, I had many, but the main one was drinking. Long tough day at work, come home, pop the cork, pour four fingers, assume the position.
With the help of a Godly inspired, beautifully tragic set of circumstances, I no longer find myself assuming the day to day position of a lonely and lost person trying to fix spiritual problems with chemical solutions. Instead I assume the position on my knees and relay on the strength of my Heavenly Father.
Psalm 31 1-5 says, In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
You can’t defeat your demons while you still enjoy their company. Don’t let your vice/position define you. Pick a good chair. – Matthew Poole