on attention and paralysis
After my Daddy knocked the wind out of me by saying he thinks I might be struggling with depression, he gave me something to think about. He said, “I want us to start a new tradition. Let’s once a year meet as a family around a fire in the Fall up on the hill next to the dewberry bushes. What we’ll do is tell a story – even the kids. Every person has to tell a story.”
I approved with exclamations because I love a story. So now I’m thinking – what story would I tell?
I have to learn to pay attention again. Just Pay Attention.
Since our conversation yesterday around 6:00 PM, I’ve tried so hard to do it – to direct my thoughts and make them stick. How, in this stage of life, is it possible to capture a thought? Mine float around with the indiscipline of a housefly.
My daddy is right, and it isn’t completely true that I can’t pay attention because I have focused a great deal on my own weaknesses. I focus and become paralyzed; my legs become useless. My story starts to sound like the time I lost my temper, a little one crying and saying it would be easier if I hadn’t had little boys. It’s sad, and the dishes pile, and the boys fight, and my response to the surprise lily is a blank stare.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
So now I have to relearn to pay attention. How do I get up and live my story?
When the thought comes, take hold of it. Don’t grab it and hold it and pull the covers up over its head, but take the thought and make it obedient. Get up with it and act it out. If the thought is to make the bed, turn it into obedience. If the thought is to consider the lilies, then look at them up close, lifting and unfurling. Let Jesus make us get up and smile and live. Tell the right story and demolish all the others.