A few people have asked, what’s up with The Bible stuff? Why are you doing it?
Here are the top three reasons:
I was anxious, lonely and depressed after moving to Texas. I thought, “if I don’t find something to help me get out of bed every day, I won’t.” I’d already read everything by Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle and Oprah. I’d read The Purpose Driven Life, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting, the Yoga Sutras and The Secret and I was still lying face down on my bed. Why not add The Bible to the list? Why not read the best-selling book of all time and do what it says as an experiment? That’s literally how much thought I put into this, nearly-three- year project.
- I wanted to be a writer, not an insurance salesman. I didn’t have the courage to pursue what I wanted and I was jealous of people who did.
- I was burdened with rancor for the Religious Right, Republicans, Monsanto, Karl Rove, The Bush Administration, BP, Enron, Lehmann Brothers, Fox News, the pharmaceutical industry and the machine that created Justin Bieber. But that was proving tiresome and unhelpful.
So I read The Bible, studied it and tried to do what it says. Here’s what things look like two and a half years later:
- My life didn’t get easier. It got harder. The holy magic wand that many Christians secretly expect as a reward for their obedience, didn’t pass over my life and sparkle everything up. Instead, my attitude toward my circumstances changed, which takes practice. Life is hard now like swimming in the ocean is hard – especially when the current is strong – but I swim every day with determination because it’s rewarding. Eventually, I hope to swim gracefully, for long periods of time, with many other people, because swimming in the ocean is fun and an awesome privilege.
- I write every day. When I was stubbornly forcing my life, plotting, competing, conniving, I got to sell insurance. When, per The Bible’s suggestion, I surrendered all that to God, I got the space and the courage to write a book.
- Rancor still raises its ugly head but The Bible helps me choke it. I quit watching the news because the American media is in the business of feeding indignation. It was making me bitchy and that sometimes soured relationships with people I like, who happen to vote Republican. Thanks Google and Twitter for making this possible.
So here are two scriptures I used to combat depression and anger and one I used for courage. My teacher put the text in the first person, which makes them easy to say out loud. Stick them on the bathroom mirror. They help.
Depression – God is my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3
Courage – I am strong, vigorous and very courageous, I am not afraid, neither am I dismayed for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. Joshua 1:9
Anger – I speak soft answers that turn away wrath, not grievous words that stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Try it and let me know how it goes.