Friday, May 21, 2010

Creation (not machine)

O My Soul:

In hindsight, I have tended to think of myself as a machine rather than a creature of God. I see it taking various forms at various times and seasons of my life but its always there.

I told my body to lift weights and play sports during my teenage years. My body responded well. I became stronger, faster, and a better athlete for the effort. I loved it and enjoyed the experience sports and the competition.

I told my mind to think during my college years. My mind responded well. I learned so much and loved that part of the college experience.

I told myself to work hard well into my adulthood and the paychecks have always been appreciated. As the work become more involved, I enjoyed the challenge.

Emotions have always been a different animal. If I felt like I was in control of a machine, then why did I so often feel so bad. Emotions just don't fit well with machines.

Mind you, I'm a Christian (a pastor to boot). I never actively viewed myself as a machine. This view was just the background to my whole way of life. I confessed the faith while practicing that faith from the point of view of material atheism.

For many reasons, I'm thankful that I am one of God's creation. He made me and knows me. He delights in me because I am His. I can cast all my anxieties upon Him because He is taking care of me.

One of the lingering effects of clinical depression is that I'm no longer the person I once was. I can no longer always push myself physically or emotionally and achieve what I hope. Big goals seem a little farther out of my grasp. I tire more easily also. I need to be cared for by others a little more.

This is hard but not overwhelming.

God has given me a doctor who just last week recommended I lower my SSRI dosage. I'm a little nervous about that but the summer is a lower stress time of the year for me.

God has given me (through my medical doctor) a short list of clinical psychologists specializing in the cognitive behavioral school of psychology. I only need to talk to them and see which one I relate to best (trust) and work on improving some of my coping skills.

God has also given me another Father-confessor. I miss my old one but I'm the one who moved away. He is still my friend. This new Father-confessor has many of the same traits as the old. I think it will go well.

For these gifts I am thankful. It also takes the burden off my wife who tries so hard to take care of me only to find I'm a moving target and dealing with things she doesn't understand. This way she can be my wife rather than doctor, counselor, and pastor.

I believe God made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.

He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.

He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.

This is most certainly true.

(Here is a the musical setting for Luther's hymn version of the Apostles' Creed: We all believe in one true God.)

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