The Leaf is Out of the table

“Looking a lot like Christmas is over—fa ala, la, la.”

The guest dog’s toys are put away, living room vacuumed, cookies packaged for sharing, dinner leftovers divided for later meals and trash taken out. 2021 Christmas was different.

The leaf is out of the table. Now, back to routine beckoning  and planning for the next year. Adventure, journey, challenges.

Traditionally for me, the time between Christmas and New Years Day has been used to position my files, calendars, planners for the new year. During these days, I have focused on what seemed to me that vision God has for the next months—where our energy and planning should be.

A friend said she should not have wasted her money on planners the past 2-3 years. Planners are different in purpose and content than calendars or journals.

With all that going on in my mind—at least subconscious mind—my planning has seemed to be a border-line questionable use of time. The tell-tale indicator of soul uneasiness moved me toward search for something to satisfy a hunger that I could not find, a source of a fresh thought or bright feeling that evaded me.

I found part of what I was searching for. I hadn’t listened to a message from a preacher or a conversation that ignited my thinking for too long. I tuned to a YouTube sermon from Pastor Bill Johnson:

He talked about disappointment. I paraphrase some of his thoughts.

  1. Bitterness, regret and disappointment change the way we see ourselves and the way we approach the future.
  2. Disappointment dislocates us from our purpose and future, including God’s plans for us.
  3. Some hide behind disappointment when in fact we blame God for being absent, ignoring us or not being faithful to His promises.
  4. Satan and his crowd focus on our disappointments to derail us.
  5. We lose our capacity to dream when disappointments are ignored and not processed.

Of course, I was disappointed that the Chicago Cubs 2021 season was beyond horrendous. But that is not personal to me. It has not affected my income or anything shaping my family or life. But 2020-2021 was and is a trauma. I have to ask what has really made me mad and driven me to doubt or abandon basic assumptions. What feels like betrayal? Abandonment? Assault? Look at the 7 areas of influence: Education, religion, business, government/military, arts/entertainment, media. (Somewhere in there we should include the medical community and pharma.) Any of those arenas/institutions disappoint you? Make you angry, question? What disappointments have set you up to walk away or to settle for something less?

Maybe on the last few pages in our planners or journals we would be well-served to list those disappointments. How will we consider the big, big disappointment—the one that isn’t really true, but we wonder—God you could have done something, but you didn’t!

  1. Say it out loud or write it down.
  2. Talk to the Lord about it.
  3. Have someone pray with you and for your healing of that specific disappointment.
  4. Take communion with disappointment specifically what needs to be defanged. The symbol of Jesus’ blood to cleanse and the symbol of His body to strengthen you for 2022 and beyond.

I have focused on Psalm 37 during 2021. Only recently did I notice that the chapter is bracketed by the word “delight.”

              Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

             Psalm 37:23

When Yahweh delights in how you live your life, he establishes your every step.

My response to those two statements is:

Let nothing interfere with your delight or His.

Staggering to think of The Father being delighted over us and being asked to heal the damage done by disappointments.

Happy and free New Year.

© 2021 D. Dean Benton

I will publish the eBook

Seizin’ The SeasonSpace for Sum & Substance

 the first week of the new year with plans to publish the companion eBook

Mining for Reality & ReasonDigging Worldviews

 a few days later.

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