Perfect People and the Price of Happiness

Click-click, the door opens and closes. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, I hear feet getting closer. Huff…huff is the sound of labored breathing from extreme humidity in the air. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, click-click and the door opens and closes. Those are the sounds of someone coming into the offices from production, down the hallway, retrieving whatever was needed, and then returning to production. I’m in early because I dropped Eric off at work.

We are on a new journey. Dan Mohler was at Griner Church and we were blessed with the opportunity to listen to his teaching. When he opened the alter for healing prayer, he called out several illnesses, one being, “…and the doctors say this is life long and will never go away.” Eric looked at me and said, “My epilepsy… .”

We were just at his yearly appointment in May. The room we were lead to was covered in cutesy “Under the Sea” decor. When Dr. Kelly came in Eric asked, “Do you see that many kids?” Though her answer was a sorrowful “Yes, probably the majority of my patients,” she quickly added, “but most outgrow it.” Eric didn’t miss a beat and asked, “Any chance for me?” “Not when you’ve had it this long. I’m sorry,” she responded with compassion.

Did Dan mean Eric? Why not him?

Eric went up for prayer. Now the question: what’s next? There were 3 years between his grand mal seizures but plenty of petite seizures between (he didn’t know what those were so he had not been on any medication). How do you step out in faith?

First we called his neurologist. They said if he goes off his medication, which they do not suggest, he needs to be prepared for the worst-case scenario of being in an accident and losing his license for at least 6 months. They also said he could physically harm himself during a seizure so, again, they do not suggest he change his current medication plan.

What do you do with that? God????

God is bigger than science, but we are to be love, not just show it. How do you step out in faith but continue in love and honor those around you?

Eric’s choice of stepping out actually reflects an extra dose of love and honor. I cannot express my admiration for the way he is choosing to serve Heavenly Dad in this step of faith:

-Eric first talked to work and explained the situation. They are Christians and said, “Do what you have to do.”

-Eric is choosing not to drive as he lowers his dose slowly. He will honor the feelings of those around him so they won’t feel unsafe.

This is not an easy decision for a former truck driver who loves to drive. He is putting others before himself as it would be so much easier to go off the meds immediately, not tell anyone because he feels fine, and walk in a faith that is actually self-serving. If he did, he would be missing the opportunity to love others the way they need to be loved, not the way he wants to or feels like he should love. He is choosing the narrow path.

This situation and Eric’s example reminded me of an earlier conversation about love but in reverse:

There was a relationship between two individuals. Neither were happy all the time, but one viewed the relationship in a positive light while the other only saw darkness. I pondered how this could be? I was listening to Focus on the Family and one of their marital counselors mentioned, “I frequently see husbands who say, ‘But I thought we were happy? I didn’t even know we had a problem.'” The truth is, their happiness was at the expense of the other.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

For this man to be “happy” his spouse was expected to give him something: time, satisfaction, obedience, respect, service—something. As he took-took-took, she became depleted, empty, like drawing water from a cup that eventually ran dry. To quench the thirst of his “need,” whether depression, self-hate, selfishness, whatever, he took what she had–it cost her all of the water in her “cup”. Those were expensive drinks.

I always find those stories interesting. When people try to change each other or even their actions, what final result do they want to see? Who are they trying to make them look like? Since it’s their expectations, are they looking for a reflection of themself? Does that mean they are completely happy and satisfied with who they currently see in the mirror? Do they hold themselves as the epitome of perfection? How’s that working for them?

Wouldn’t it just be easier when someone doesn’t change an empty roll of toilet paper to say a quick thanks to Heavenly Dad for allowing you the opportunity to share a house with someone so you are not alone?

How about thanking Him for each piece of dirty laundry and praying a special blessing on the future of that person. How sad and disappointed we would be when we run out of dirty clothes to pray over.

What about sharing with Him the awe of never missing a meal while you wash dirty dishes. Why not tell Him the funny story you heard at the dinner table because He’s listening and loves to hear you laugh?

If we focus on the blessings, our cups will never be empty as we will not run out of dirty laundry, full trash cans, grimy dishes, or the like. If we look at those as Jesus would, we will have opportunities to thank Heavenly Dad for the individuals in our lives who are there to use those items. Trash cans don’t get full very fast in a house of one.

When it comes to expectations: what if we let people learn from their own mistakes with natural consequences. What if we stop trying to protect them from everything that may or may not happen? Some people have shared this “protection” actually makes them feel trapped, controlled, manipulated, and anxious. How about just being there, without an “I told you so,” and rejoice with the maturity and growth that follows (including the growth in your relationship). Lovingly sharing concern is different than telling someone what they should or should not do. Love is respecting others and allowing them to make mistakes without changing the way we treat or feel about them. Jesus is our example and He continues to do that for us.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Living water–He’s full of it as that is who He is. We will be if we allow Him to be in us.

Thank you for the example, Eric.

Until next time: Blessings!

One thought on “Perfect People and the Price of Happiness

  1. Wow… like a shot of digoxin to an arrhythmic heart, this was a message I needed. Thank you for obediently and lovingly sharing. … I’m gonna need to read it a couple more times, I think.

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