Yesterday wasn't necessarily a bad day in terms of anything bad happening, but I developed a deep sense of grief. It wasn't depression. While depression and sorrow can be similar, there was something different about how I was feeling (and still am).
The day started out fine, but somewhere along the line I got upset. It was probably when my boss (well, I think he's my boss - no one is really sure who the boss is) called and was trying to get me excited about this bonus incentive he dreamed up. Not only was I not motivated by it, but I was a little insulted by the whole thing. I like to take pride in my work, and I'm simply not inspired by gimmicky little contests and games to try to garner more sales.
Anyway, after the conversation I started to feel down. I wondered why I always have to be so negative; why I can't just "go along with things"; why do I feel the need to speak my mind; etc.; etc.. I don't like myself when I get like that and I regretted having the conversation at all. Then I glanced at Facebook and was brought even further down by all the political rants and raves. Then I heard a few news stories (also about politics) and it just seemed overwhelming. I wanted to drink myself stupid (or stupider). My heart hurt.
I don't understand why so many evangelical Christians seem to think that being a democrat is wrong (or evil). I'm not even a democrat myself (nor a republican). I don't understand how church leaders can publicly run down others for political reasons. I don't understand how people who claim to be serious followers of Jesus can so closely align themselves with one particular political party regardless of who the person is. I don't understand people hellbent on defending their right to own instruments of terror and murder, and claim to honor Christ. I don't understand why it seems like everyone, everywhere is all of a sudden nuts!
So I was thinking about all that this morning, and that's when the word "sorrow" popped into my head. I wasn't lamenting my shortcomings or feeling sorry for myself, I believe I was feeling Godly sorrow over my sinful actions and the sinful actions of the world right now. I was sorry for how I'd let myself get sucked into such worldly thinking and worldly ways. It's not that I don't want to embrace who God made me to be, but I don't want to give in to the sin that so easily entangles. I want to fight the urge toward negativity; hatred; division; slander; lying; and even malaise.
Fortunately this passage in 2 Corinthians 7:10 came to mind this morning:
"For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death."
So, I've been trying to focus on better things. These are a few of them that popped into my head:
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.