what works or doesn’t?

by Andrea Elizabeth

On the way home from Springtown today I listened to Joel Osteen. He was on an Entertainment Sirius channel right next the the Religious channels’ Catholic Channel and EWTN, oddly enough. He’s a good story-teller, even if it’s dumbed down. And he has a good sense of humor. He gave numerous anecdotes about how being nice to people may be a foreign experience to them and how much it helps them and how you’ll get paid back for it. They were somewhat entertaining.

But his saying how much easier it is to complain, especially on the internet, made me think a bit. John B. McLemore is still on my mind. Brian Reed talked about John’s negativity and his own natural positivity. McLemore could turn on positivity, mostly about physics and clocks it seemed. Reed had to work to criticize people. Interesting. Could McLemore have been turned from his path? I hear other people speak about a lot of internal pain. It’s their go-to feeling. The ones I’m thinking of are also very intelligent. I don’t think they can be convinced not to see negative stuff. And Brian even admits that John was courageous for not blowing it all off. But going to the point of suicidal ideation isn’t right. You have to have someone to entrust the negative stuff to. Prayer and faith are effective for me (some see this as a copout). The ones I know don’t really seem to get enough relief from prayer, and they are Orthodox, which has the right way to pray. And they don’t go to many services if they keep coming at all. Maybe that’s why it got worse. Or maybe they were discouraged because it didn’t get better. I don’t think people are always aware of the increments of better and worse in themselves a lot of the time. I could easily spin my life since converting as worse – lost my extended family, gained weight with all the fasting, watching most of my kids not embrace it as I did now that they’re on their own. These are all very depressing. There are perks that keep me going, mainly the conviction that it is the true, right way to worship. I still get feelings of God’s presence at Church and amongst Orthodox trappings away from Church. As an INTJ, being right is the ultimate, peaceful good. It’s not so for other people who value personal relationships more, for instance. Maybe what works for me doesn’t for them, or maybe they can’t feel what works, for whatever reason. God have mercy on them and save their souls, and forgive me if it’s my fault.

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