Have you seen The Grinder? That over the top show with Rob Lowe on Fox? If not, you’re missing out. I get the giggles when I sit down to watch it because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Anyways I’ve been getting called ‘the Grinder’ around here as (confession time) I recently found out I grind my teeth. Fun, right?
I grind my teeth. I’m a tooth grinder. I suffer from Bruxism.
Whatever you call it, it’s not a particularly romantic condition. It’s born of anxiety and it’s something I’m not super excited about. I’m faithful. I’m a Christian. I know what the Bible says. Here’s a good verse for example:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
or this one…
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34
Knowing that worry is not productive or necessary is one thing but not having worry, not thinking or wondering about the future is challenging especially as a mother of a child with Autism. Autism brings this fun element to our days where we’re just not certain what will happen tomorrow, or next year or in the years to come. When people ask me when I’ll go back to work I cannot give them a definitive answer as a lot of things are not yet clear to me. There are many things we must overcome and work through before I’ll be able to give a definite answer to that question.
The funny thing is I thought I was handling things fairly well. I thought I was moving through with determination and that I had adjusted to our new normal with therapy and homeschool. A recent visit to the dentist demonstrated otherwise and now with my night guard I find myself having to process the feelings I used to grind away at night. It’s good. Much better for my health and it’s helping me see where I need to make changes. It’s funny how when we push things down and ignore them it seems like they are dealt with but instead they fester. Now though I believe I’m heading in the right direction, a healthful direction towards less anxiety and more purposeful action.
What does this have to do with anything? Well as I’ve been dealing with all of these things, I’ve also been watching the discussions in our church surrounding Human Sexuality. There is so much anxiety, so much tension and I wonder if it is coming out so much more now because we’ve pushed it down for so long. We seem to like to avoid making decisions and discussing big issues instead of confronting them and managing them as they come along. This avoidance leads to anxiety which creates problems in discussions. We wait to deal with things for so long that when they finally are talked about it’s loaded with emotion and pain and frustration. I think this style of management needs to stop. Are you listening Presbyterians (especially those who go to GA)? Please, please stop avoiding. It’s not good for our collective health!
We’re finally dealing with this issue but there are so many others that are also on the back burner. I wonder if perhaps it’s time to address them as well. The state of our Church, the spiritual health of the denomination and the need to explore different styles of ministry are just a few other things that we should also be talking about before it becomes yet another heated conversation after years spent neglecting the issues at hand.
I am glad we’re finally having ‘The Conversation’ but it’s only one conversation of many that we need to have. I hope after this one we can continue to discuss the big issues. I hope we can continue to work to see where it is God wants us to go and who God wants us to be. It requires a commitment though to moving past an avoidance style of management into proactive participation in the mission God calls us to. I’m hopeful we can get here.
If you are Presbyterian are you happy we are having the discussion on Human Sexuality? Do you feel there are other issues or concerns that need to be addressed to remain faithful followers of Christ? If you’re not Presbyterian – welcome! With that welcome I would ask you if you feel there are any issues or areas of concern we need to address as Christians in this world to remain faithful followers of Christ in this time and place.