My family and I live in the North Georgia Foothills, a hilly place, just miles from the southern trail-head of the Appalachian trail. Living in such rolling terrain, you learn to deal with erosion. Erosion is the gradual wearing away of soil by water, wind, and storms. Webster’s says that to erode is to “eat into or away; destroy by slow consumption or disintegration; synonym: grind” and the origin of the word means “to gnaw.” Gnawing, that’s what has been going on in my life for much of this year.
There’s been nothing devastating, just a steady gnawing and grinding of the normal, everyday “tough-stuff-happens” kind of year. No hurricanes or catastrophes, just a constant wearing away of energy, joy, and peace with the grinding and gnawing of irritating stuff.
You know the kind of stuff: you have a good job, but the money just isn’t going quite as far as it needs to; no one is seriously or fatally ill, but there is a constant barrage of everyday illnesses and minor accidents zapping everyone’s health, energy and mood; everyone in your sphere seems to be edgy, on-edge and just plain irritable; minor traffic accidents that put a further cramp on limited time, money, and energy; crazy-busy, hectic days filled to overflowing with no time to pause, reflect and just breathe deeply. Just the normal, everyday events that everyone experiences, and sometimes there seems to be more of it all at once–wearing you down, gnawing at your energy, your contentment, your peace…not soil erosion, soul erosion.
When you’re facing the devastating onslaught of a demon hurricane, you immediately go into crisis mode. As a Christian, you fall to your knees and FOCUS–on Christ, the Center of your ultimate existence, the Creator of your life, the One who holds your plan in His heart and hands. It becomes easy to focus on Him, because to focus anywhere else allows you to see the enemy of destruction beating at your door. For me, the hurricane was breast cancer.
While I fought cancer, God was my center, my refuge, my source of comfort and strength. I was focused on one goal–beating death and finding life. I was focused on Him and health, not the daily grind. It is a myopic way to live, but necessary when you are fighting such a powerful enemy.
Now that my health has returned, and I have reentered the real world, the real world is attacking with a vengeance; and for some reason, the daily grind has caught me totally off-guard. Now, I have soul erosion. Somehow, instead of living “the good life” I have allowed “the good life” to erode my joy–but I am ready to fight back.
Anyone who has lived in mountainous or rugged terrain knows that in order to stop the erosion you must put up special mesh fences guarding the soil from immediate erosion, while giving young plants time to grow, their roots spreading under the surface, creating a tight, protective web, keeping the soil from washing away during the heavy storms to come.
For a Christian, the mesh fence is prayer. You must stay in prayer to keep your focus on The One who is the author of joy. The protecting web of roots is Bible study–delving deep into His word to establish a firm and binding relationship with Him, while once again focusing on His love and joy and finding His purpose for your existence. These are soul erosion protectors, and they are necessary for maintaining your joy in the daily grind.
holly nichols tabor, glimpsejoyLeave a Comment