This morning while I was going through my french press coffee making routine and reading a devotional that pops up everyday in my email one line really struck me. The writer was quoting a friend who posted a statement on Facebook. “We do what we do and feel how we feel because we think what we think.” Oh , Wow, yes! and then Captain Obvious saw the connection but more on that in a minute.
I love my French Press coffee-making routine. When I first purchased it at Ikea I really had no idea what I was doing so I went directly to that fount of knowledge, YouTube. I did not know there were as many ways to make french press coffee as there were styles of men’s shoes. And apparently I still needed a digital scale, thermometer and an electric teapot. Who knew? Measuring coffee by the gram to ounces of water? Allowing the boiling water to stop boiling for a specific length of time so the water temperature is exactly 205 degrees before the first steep of exactly one minute. Really? Man, we can really take things to the extreme. Well I am thankful, today anyway, that I don’t have that electric teapot. My water was boiling the old-fashioned way, slowly, in a teapot on the stove, and it was during this time that I was reading the devotional.
It was an Aha moment for me! I do what I do and think what I think because of what I allow to brew and steep in my own mind. Oh God! I’m a French Press! Why couldn’t I be a Chinese press or any asian press. A smart press please! Ok, all kidding and stereotypes aside, this really is serious stuff. Looking back now I can see how my porn and masturbation addiction is a result of my thought processes, my thinking patterns that developed after a traumatic event that occurred when I was a young teen, at a critical developmental stage in my life. When my father died I felt lost, abandoned even. Seems silly now, I mean, abandoned? He had a massive coronary, smoking three packs of Pall Mall a day for years will do that to you. But in my fourteen year old mind that is exactly how I felt. It didn’t help that we had a love/hate/fear relationship. I worshipped him but he had anger issues that came out in verbal, emotional and physically abusive ways so I was afraid of him. Sometimes I thought I hated him but mostly I just wanted him to love me. Even so, I was afraid. Tears are welling up in my eyes as I type this, after all these years it still affects me this way.
Years later after I became a Christian and gave my life to Christ or thought I did, I came to realize that I had a serious trust issue. How could I trust my heavenly father when I felt abandoned by my earthly father. Having never had a healthy relationship with my father I really didn’t know how to relate to my Heavenly father. The pain was unbearable. Suicidal thoughts filled my mind for years, decades even. To medicate my pain I turned to porn and masturbation, it worked for a while but like any addiction, food, drugs, emotions, whatever, it soon became my master and my life spun out of control.
So here I am today some forty-eight year after the death of my father staring at my coffee cup wondering what do I think on now? What do I allow to brew and steep in my mind to change what I do, how I relate, how do I learn to trust my heavenly Father and others, my wife, my friends. I already know the answer. You know I do. It’s time to sweep out the old and bring in the new.
Ephesians 4;22-24 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Years ago I bought a lie, it nearly took my life and for decades I allowed it to maintain control. Those days are over. From today and this day forward I choose to brew in my mind and steep in that which will bring me Life.
Blessings to You, Barney