Something has gone wrong.
“Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.”
“Chronic or life-long (endogenous) depression is caused by trauma in childhood which includes: emotional, physical or sexual abuse; yelling or threats of abuse; neglect (even two parents working); criticism; inappropriate or unclear expectations; maternal separation; conflict in the family; divorce; family addiction; violence in the family, neighborhood or TV; racism and poverty.”
“Depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease by 2020 — and studies show depression is a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease.”
Where does the depression come from?
“Physiological problems, plus learned beliefs and behaviors, make functional decisions difficult, and the results reinforce the depression in a vicious cycle.” *(stats from http://www.upliftprogram.com)
This past Thursday, I was listening to a speaker named Vince D’Acchioli discuss a new approach to “Attitude and Action.”
Proverbs 19:3 says, “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” He writes in response, “The above verse suggests that if we will commit our ‘works’ (behavior), to the Lord, our ‘thoughts’ (attitude) will be established. In psychology, we are taught that attitude follows behavior, and here the Bible validates this idea.”
What’s more, I would like to add that behavior is what people see, anyway, not our words—regardless of their faith or worldview. But that is beside the point, and another topic for another blog.
We often think that God’s got our goals in mind and we pray to that end; to be happy, successful, live a pain-free life, to be fulfilled and content. These are our “end.” What’s wrong with this? It would then seem as though 5 days of our 7-day-life is spent in vain. Or we can infer that it costs 5 hard days to get two easy ones—or something shallow and flawed like that. If we play hard and play smart for 35 years, we can retire and play easy. Right? The daily grind. Wednesday is “hump day.” If you get past lunch on Wednesday, the rest of the week is all downhill—all of it a necessary evil that leads to the weekend. Instead, I propose that what we call the process is life—Monday through Friday.
The paradigm shift here is that what we call the process, God calls the end. I have a little “inside” with my friends Josh and Jason that “Today is the best day of my life.” Is this because I’m not one of the statistical clinically depressed among society? Because I am in denial? Or maybe I am depressed inside, but outside I’m lying?
It does not say, “Today, I am the happiest I have ever been.” or “Today is the most fulfilled I have ever been.” Let’s face it, we are all in this condition together. And often times it’s good, often it sucks—there’s not enough room in one blog to list all of the crap that can happen to any of us in a single day, not to mention, five.
But think about it. The death rate is still one per person. Even that is not the end. And if death is not the goal, than it certainly cannot be retirement. And if it’s not retirement, than it cannot be Friday. (Side note: alcohol has its place, but it’s definitely overrated).
Let’s be sober-minded and careful how we live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are full of evil. Be blessed, my little cyber-junkie Friends—Today really is all that we have. Is it not tremendous in potential, an adventure, wonderful, complex, full of limitless opportunity to love and share, serve and wash a few feet!
My God, I have Purpose—Significance—Fulfillment—You!