What lies beneath…

October 7, 2008 at 2:15 am 6 comments

Since I just meandered on Friday I will not bore you with more of that.  Not much has happened since Friday anyway. 

I find myself in a funk lately, maybe even a depression.  Not sure which is more severe.  Kind of like the difference between a recession and a depression economically, the difference really doesn’t matter, they are both not good.

It is hard for me to put my finger on what produces these down turns in my economy.  I just know it is really hard to just pull myself out of them.  I think it was author Ruth Barton, who I heard at a conference in Nashville 5 years ago, who said something about how important it was to pay attention to “what lies beneath.”  I think she meant, if I remember right, that we need to pay attention to the stuff that is just beneath the surface that drives our actions, reactions and our feelings.

I am not always sure what it is that lies beneath but often it comes as a sense that nothing is really wrong but something just ain’t right.  Here are some things that percolated up as I started writing this:

A sense that I am still “paying” for, dealing with, struggling with, the big mess of nearly 3 years ago.  The action that precipitated it is now at least 4 years old and still it all seems unresolved in so many ways.  There has never been any real closure for me, my family or, I suspect, for the “other side”.  Part of the struggle for me is the “other side” doesn’t seem to care about closure. I guess for them it probably is closed.  I am pretty sure all that stuff is part of what lies beneath that puts me in a funk.

Disappointment seems also to “lie beneath“.  My expectations of where I should be in life compared to where I am, financially, career, security etc. often leaves me disappointed.  I know I am not alone in this, most, if not all of us, have a gnawing insecurity about where we are that has us frustrated, concerned, fearful, among other strong emotions.  It used to be I was never satisfied and, sure that is still part of it, but I can’t get past the notion that this is more than just my dissatisfaction.

Missing our kids and grandkids, missing the life and work we used to have, missing a place to call home, missing a familiar routine, all that missing lies beneath, even though we are in a good place, with good people who love us and care about us.  Perhaps if I didn’t have memories of what was, then what is would “feel” better.  It isn’t really about where I am or who I am with, both in most ways are really good, what lies beneath, I think, is the sense of loss of not having what I worked my whole life to have and I don’t mean just in a material sense.

There is probably more, but…

What lies beneath the surface of your life? For some, it may be strong personal insecurities that have a way of driving and shaping what you do and what you feel. Lots of us have strong feelings of personal inadequacy we have learned to keep at bay.  For many what lies beneath is a deep seated anger that, if it ever got loose, could be really bad. What is it for you?

The stuff that lies beneath can be controlled and kept down most of the time but I can’t help but think that not dealing with it in some productive way, is dangerous.  I know there is a lot of work to be done in my life, spiritually and emotionally, and the Spirit is working in me, mostly it seems, to force me to pay attention to the stuff that is bubbling up from way down deep that has me in an emotional recession.

I know I am not the only one with stuff that lies beneath.  What about you?  Care to share what you do about your sub surface junk,  other than trying to ignore it?  I know it would help me and probably a whole lot of other people, who are trying to be honest with what is inside, to read what you do about it.


Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Culture, Faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Kingdom, Revelation, The Father, Theology, Thoughts.

Friday (Monday) morning meanderings. Vol. 1 (Vol.58) Lee and Mary Akin update.

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. formedofclay  |  October 14, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Some of us have been wearing our “beneath” on the outside for a while, trying to get it to stop bubbling and become the tranquil pond that Jesus wants for us. As for me, nothing is resolved. Uncovering seems to be an endless process with the next layer a bit uglier than the last. As the layers keep piling up around me, I pray that if I keep going, I may find my Jesus in here somewhere. Perhaps He is floating on the pond.

  • 2. Cody Custer  |  October 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I can not put my foot on it myself but if I could I would stomp the tar out of it. I don’t think it is all bad though. Every time I go through it I feel much more fired up and ready for battle on the other side. It always makes me as 2Cor 13:5 (a) says “Examine yourselves to see wheather you are in the faith; test yourselves.” When I examine myself it helps put everything into perspective. The other side is always more important than how it feels going through it.
    The key is to know that our Father has our back in every situation. Gal 4:6&7 “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who callsout, Abba, Father.” “So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” We are (all in) this together. When some of us are going through it others are past it. Keep on Truckin.

  • 3. chuck in arizona  |  October 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Brother Greg; “I think” (therefore, I am (?)…..I think not !) when dealing with your subject matter ….maybe it isn’t What Lies Beneath, but rather…..What Covers Us ?
    A friend gave me a video to watch a few weeks ago and I finally had the opportunity to view it (late nite printing session on a RUSH order). The video was very “scientific” in its approach to “our planet” (earth), how it “works” and our place within the universe. I guess what was of most impact to me was/is how God created this magnificent complex “ball of matter”; the core being molten iron bubbling around on the inside, encapsulated by a crust, miles thick. From the crust (earth’s surface) to the upper level of the atmosphere (breathin’ space for you and me) is not so far away—-and when viewed from space, the canopy covering us all is amazingly thin in comparison to everything else.
    What Lies Beneath, is often turbulent, sometimes violent and almost always unpleasant/unprofitable (ie. not good for you and me). ALL of us have those insecurities, fears, disappointments, fond memories and grandiose thoughts of who we “thought” we once were…..which can be pitfalls. The problem, as I see it, is when we revisit or dredge up those events, feelings, thoughts….we tend to OWN them…..when, in fact, we long ago surrendered them to Christ (or should have). Paul shares in Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I count not myself apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”
    What covers us is that thin layer that surrounds our planet and keeps us from sure destruction….His grace.
    The commentary offers this…”Those who think they have grace enough, give proof that they have little enough, or rather that they have none at all; because, wherever there is true grace, there is a desire of more grace, and a pressing towards the perfection of grace.”

    We must go forth in His grace …from strength to strength as we navigate life’s valleys to reach the mountaintops.
    I love you and so much appreciate the encouragement and support you have given me over the past year…..shake the dust off your sandals……we’ve got trails to blaze!

  • 4. ws  |  October 7, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Given a “bs” and a “ws” indicates we are coming at you from above and beneath.

    b, that incident in youth group is something that I think all of us who have led such groups love to experience. You are right in praising God! (Your response is dated Oct 7, 4:35 a.m.?)

    Greg, do you have “Abba’s Child” with you? I’m on my way through it for the second, maybe third, time. I just finished reading “If John were to be asked,’What is your most coherent sense of yourself?’ he would not reply,’I am a disciple, an apostle, an evengelist,’ but ‘the one Jesus loves.'”

    You know that I have had two or three bouts with depression, in fact you and Mike came to KFalls to rescue me once. I sometimes think how unwise it was to let me drive that UHaul in that night rain that it seems only Oregon can produce. I have not developed a foolproof remedy for depression but on one occasion operating combine some 18 hours a day in a Canadian wheat field really seemed to be better therapy than the shrinks provided.

    I have been able to handle the loss of the job I dearly loved quite well and there is another one on the horizon. I have not been able to come up with something that “lies beneath”.

    I can’t seem to restrict myself to a “comment”. Is using your blog a felony (and does “feloney” have and “e”?.

  • 5. Doug Wright  |  October 7, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Transparent lives. Sharing the reality of life and the disappointments in ourselves and others can be a difficult level to reach. How do we do it without sounding like we are whimpering or complaining? With an honest open heart that sounds just like what you have written.
    The hope that we have is that God loves us, He wants what is best for us and He has a plan “B” for us even when we blow up plan “A”!! I appreciate your honest approach to how you are feeling and will be praying for you. I personally look forward to plan “B” in not only your life but in mine also.
    Looking forward to the summit.

  • 6. bs  |  October 7, 2008 at 4:35 am

    we just finished a little three week series at the HILL called STORYLINE – who am i. in this series i focused on three things: the truth about how GOD sees us, the truth that we are forgiven and the truth that we are loved … pretty simple topics but oh so profound!
    interestingly enough i used you [and the situation you allude to above] as examples of forgiveness and the fact that we are loved. of course, my part in the story was the main focus but what has happened in our family has served to help me help students see that there is great freedom and peace that can come from the understanding of these two HUGE facts; I AM FORGIVEN and I AM LOVED!
    personally i don’t really struggle with either on a regular basis but i have at various points in my life and so i used those as examples in this series.
    here’s the cool part and the point: GOD has used the lame/hard/difficult/hurtful/whatever word you want to insert here to help me see that HE really does LOVE ME and HE really HAS FORGIVEN ME.
    here is the even COOLER part: last night at youth group a girl who is REALLY hurting because of ‘what lies beneath’ opened up to us during what we call team time [which is simply all of the jr. class that comes]. it was powerful, she was broken, in fact she openly cried and REALLY shared! and, the best part was, her willingness to share what was lying beneath led to a stronger sense of community amongst this group, a stronger love for her on our parts and a small sense of peace for her! it was beautiful and i praise GOD for it!
    i guess what i am trying to say is that simply sharing ‘what lies beneath’ can lead to freedom and peace from ‘it’.
    thanks, dad for sharing as i know that just by talking about ‘what is lying beneath’ you have taken a strong step towards getting freedom and peace!
    love you!

    ps – maybe i’ll go to my blog and post some of my own ‘what lies beneath’ but right now, i don’t think i have much…i’m sure i could come up with something as there is always something floating around under the surface.

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