Saturday, May 14, 2005


The words “It can’t happen to me” are replaced during critical events in all our lives with what some have called intimations of mortality, “It can happen to me”. Here anxiety and awareness of a hopeless cause often show themselves. Adam again naked! The siren-song of control first heard in the garden-- control over one’s own life, is unfortunately all too possible given the irrevocable condition of free will. But only in the short-run; “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Prov. 16:9).

It would appear that you really need to read the directions; read the Word of God which quite freely offers the unthinkable! Read for example chapter 34 of Ezekiel, occurring as it does in the midst of chapter after chapter of the Lord’s righteous wrath. Review there and elsewhere the many promises of astounding blessings, comfort, security, of well-being and constant loving kindness-- on this basis a first-time reader might well be inclined to think of the children of Israel wandering so long in the desert, or indeed of those who still wander and still fail to gratefully embrace such riches, as being very dense indeed. Clearly, they are not.

Most who seek after other gods and personal control are often quite bright; they are just deeply afraid to give up control and depend completely on their God. They are bright enough to invent well-sounding, convincing arguments about why they don't accept the Lord, who has probably heard them all by now. But how often the scriptures say clearly “do not fear”; do not fear to depend on the Lord your God who freely offers life, in place of loss and total separation.

The groundwork (from Adam) has been laid for the prevalence of anxiety, with all it’s strident and scrambling efforts to maintain some semblance of independent control over fleshly life. It is also important to recognize the forms and sources of depression. Essentially we are to consider the state of affairs when the need to control has gone underground, so to speak. Paradoxically again, depression seems to represent a condition of total self-control. When most people are depressed they seem determined to lose, and lose heavily, in the game of life-- but on their own terms. To the deeply depressed person usually no amount of exhortation or “cheering up” seems to have any lasting effect. It’s strictly a private affair. Even their anger is kept for themselves, directed inwards towards hopelessness and “failures” past, present, or future.

An important underlying issue in many depressions is a sense of loss or separation. This may involve persons, places or parts of one’s self image. A child may become depressed after the family moves to another town; aging and loss of faculties can precipitate depressive episodes as can the loss of a limb, of money or the end of a relationship. Depression occurs in infancy; babies abandoned by a once-known mother often demonstrate the early association with death. The child may refuse to be fed, or crawl away to the other end of the crib when touched. It is as if they are refusing to take a chance on another human being leaving them again. They seem ready to die on their own terms rather than trust again-- and lose again. Among adults, especially those harboring a great deal of mistrust, ruminative depressives may take up a weapon to attack family, coworkers, another ethnic group or even strangers. They seem to say to the world-- you had better kill me before I kill you! This has been referred to as “suicide by cop” in some instances.

No comments: