Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Down is Not the New Up

There is a downward spiral—like a plane losing control and tumbling to earth in ever tightening circles of despair—that catches us and hurries us into defeat. It begins with disappointment, a subtle regret that something didn’t work out as planned. If left unchecked the disappointment becomes discouragement. Discouragement is a gnawing agitation that stirs up thoughts of on-going disappointment. It is the regular reminder that what disappointed me will do it again.

Unchecked discouragement turns into disillusionment. All I can see is a distorted future of being disappointed continually. In my mind, I am in a tail-spin of disappointment and have no hope of pulling out. The downward spiral has captured me. Once captured I enter a dark and deep depression.

To change the analogy, I am disappointed I got a rock in my shoe. If I leave it there I will be come discouraged to take the next step, anticipating the pain. Failure to take the next step will paralyze me into refusing to go forward in my life. I will remain in a dark and deep depression.

Obviously, it is easier to stop the downward spiral from beginning than to pull out once gravity has gripped the plane. It is easier to deal with disappointment than discouragement and disillusionment.

Disappointment comes when I cease to give thanks in all things and become restless instead of contented in how God is accomplishing what concerns me. I may not like what goes on, but I do not have to absorb the dislike until it becomes a regret that grips my heart.

Let go of it and it will not pull you down.

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