Monday, May 8, 2017

Mental Hairballs

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

We have a cat.

A cat who sheds prolifically.

Evidence is all over my black knit clothes, the sofas, the chairs, folded laundry left overnight in a get the picture.

I buy lint rollers by the case at the local buyer's club.

I also buy 'hairball control' cat food. Because hairballs are gross.

However, despite brushing and brushing and the not-so-cheap kibble, hairballs are a fact of life with this kitty.  They still get hacked up, hopefully not on the still-newish carpet, and they have to be cleaned up.  Some take more cleaning than others and sometimes there's a shadowy spot that never quite comes out.

Yesterday I  caught myself saying something I really didn't want to say.  As in, I'd lectured myself at various times about expressing that opinion.  Don't do it.  No point in it.  It can only upset folks.  And you're making too big of a deal about it anyway.

I did well.  Until yesterday. And the opinion came flying out of my mouth without so much as check at the door.

Fortunately, due to the circumstances, I don't think very many folks heard it.  And it wasn't a horrible, ugly thing...just an unnecessary thing.  But I was upset with myself just the same.

And I suddenly realized what I'd done is hack up a mental hairball.  Something that had collected over time until the  moment arrived when the brain couldn't process it any more.  So out of the mouth it came.

And, like some actual hairballs, I was fortunate that 1) it didn't appear to land on the newish carpet and 2) it didn't make a horribly big mess.  Sort of like one that lands on the linoleum in the kitchen and can just be sorta wiped up and tossed.

I have had much, much worse messes to deal with.  But that really didn't help my disgust at this one.  I'm tired of dealing with them.

So I does one neutralize mental hairballs? They are an irritant; demanding attention.  Distracting.  They need to go away them vocabulary and air time is not the way to do it.

It takes an act of will to do the 2 Corinthians 10 thing...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.    See, that hairball needs to dissolve in God's grace.   I can't, by force of my own will, make it go away.  In fact, the more attention I give it the uglier and more irritating it gets.

It was kind of a revelation that we get rid of those things by releasing them to God.  Not focusing on it at all...but focusing on Him.  Those ugly opinions, gossipy tidbits,  self-justifications...all of that stuff...will fade right out when they're not given attention.  Taking a thought captive means cutting off its source of strength...which is our very own focus.

It's hard. But God gives us His grace to do hard stuff.

And it's less hard to turn it over to Him and focus on His grace and His beauty than it is to clean up the mess and get rid of the stains when those things are dealt with in the natural way.

Just sayin'.

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