Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wedded to the World: Depressed, Anxious...?

What to watch television for: live sport, my favourite team playing, or a movie? Given the opportunity to sit and veg in front of the box recently, after quite a lengthy, tiring day, there I was, with this choice. The default, I can tell you, is definitely to watch live sport. But I’ve noticed something in me of recent. That is the propensity to become emotionally affected by the results of my team losing--in the negative sense.

I make this new revelation out to be quite a dangerous sign. I recall that ten years ago I was even more passionate about my sporting teams than I am presently, and as a Christian person--devoted to God--that (in my view) had to be checked. It was a sign I was falling in love with the worldly things, to the detriment of my relationship with Christ.

Then, only recently also, I was reading a free e-book from Leo Babauta, the author of The Power of Less, relating how his blog (Zen Habits: Simple Productivity) went from being an ‘itty bitty blog’ of a few hundred regular readers to achieving over 100,000 subscribers in a very short time. The more I thought about it, the more I was pre-occupied with my own ‘failure’ in not achieving the same level of (numeral) success. As if!

But, then God had me thinking back to what I’m doing this for. It’s to reach the lost; believer and non-believer alike. It’s to reach that person in each and every single one of us that has practical struggles working out the virtuous life.

Sure, I talk about “God” and “Christ” a lot, but my blog is for everyone (I hope). I hope it breaks down the stigma of God and makes him more accessible, bringing him into the computer nooks of homes and offices at workplaces--bringing his life to those situations. My blog’s heralding hope to anyone who might read is: ‘God is relevant’ and ‘he wants us to learn more and more about him, and grow toward him right through the life span.’ In this alone is true joy and peace.

Let’s get back to the television scenario. My sporting teams over the past 20 years have had a lot of success. Both the West Coast Eagles and the Australian Cricket Team have been the more-often-than-not successes all my adult life. So, it is only when they are both struggling that I find myself pre-occupied (more than usual) with these issues, and there’s an emotional component involved here. It can affect my predominant thought patterns.

Life can trap us. A little escapism, in a moment of exhaustion, is a good thing. To the above television-of-choice scenario I chose the movie, wanting to distance myself from being hooked in emotionally to the world I love, but perhaps too much sometimes. Occasional escapism is a good thing if we’re being drawn in habitually by the temporal, worldly things that contribute to depression and anxiety.

The choice to forego the sport in favour of relaxing my weary body and mind produced a “voila” moment for me, and inspiration to share that experience with you!

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