Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Task

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 14, 2017

ppt-jpeg4I am a task oriented person. In the true body of Christ, which functions like a human body and is ordered by like principles, there are individual strengths and weaknesses. When you think about how body organisms work together to put a body in motion to accomplish things, think about gifts granted to us through the new birth for purposes of contributing to the body of Christ. I will be quick to admit that prayer is not one of my stronger suits.

Strength in prayer probably coincides with the gift of faith. Every Christian has faith, but some Christians are given a stronger dose of faith as a gift. These believe without a doubt that prayer will accomplish, in many cases, what is not seen. That’s not me; I like to accomplish things and when those things are done, seeing is believing.

Nevertheless, task orientation is a good gift because after all, the body is designed and built to accomplish things. And to the degree that we perform what we are created for, we will have well-being. This also coincides with having life purpose. I believe most false religions emphasize passivity for this very reason and make accomplishments “works salvation” which is demonstrably different from what the Bible warns against, “works of THE LAW.”

Tasks, as I found out the other day, come with varying qualifications. How we define our tasks and think about them will determine how we do them and benefits that come from them. Perhaps we don’t think in-depth enough about our jobs and other tasks. Martha was very task oriented, but she probably didn’t put much thought into her tasks because she rebuked Christ and Mary for having a Bible study while she was doing tasks about the house. It’s safe to assume Christ wasn’t doing anything wrong at the time or being a bad example for Mary.

Yesterday, I was packing up my brother’s belongings and preparing them for storage. These are material objects that represented his life while he was here. They are reminders of what he held dear and other reminders that weigh against his passing. Many times, when we experience feelings, we focus on the feelings and do not ask why we feel that way. There is ALWAYS a reason for feeling the way we feel. Knowing why we feel a certain way is curative or at least the beginning of a cure whether physical or mental.

Yesterday, as I was doing the task, a wave of bad feelings came over me, really, a sort of deep depression. The bad thing about depression, unlike many other feelings, it greatly hinders motivation because its fuel is hopelessness. When we are depressed, we have gone beyond bad feelings into a significant danger zone. Though depression can be caused by physiological problems, this is rare; the primary cause of depression is errant thinking. Depression itself tries to sell what fuels it; “these feelings are out of your control, and you should worry about where they will take you because that will make me stronger and help my cause.” Depression always has its own task; to destroy.

So, as we always should, I asked, “Why do I feel this way?” I answered, “Duh, look at the task I am presently involved in.” But the questions shouldn’t stop there. The next question is, “Why does this task make me feel this way?” Yes, it is a sad ask, but it is also a good task. It is a task that must be done, somebody has to do it, that makes it a good task. Furthermore, I am sparing others the pain of doing it. Good tasks may invoke bad feelings, but the nature of the task should always have a say in the balance and overall feelings about what you are doing.

Depression knows no balance; it must invoke zero-sum goodness in all of life in order to ply its trade. Here is where I must mention the now often-heard testimony concerning my brother; “He never complained once.” Here again, we are amiss if we fail to ask the “why?” question. In fact, as one who is a nurse aide, I could ask that about a lot of people who have the so-called low “quality of life.” The answer is simple; we are created to love life, we are wired to love life. And, it’s all we know, and what is beyond is a fearful mystery that is beyond anything we can imagine. Steve Jobs well said, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.” We tend to cling to what we know, but what we also know about life is that there is always “goodness in the land of the living.”

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).

Prior to my brother’s passing, one of his home care aides had herself taken off the case because “he’s too demanding.” Apparently, she saw no good in that at all. Apparently, depressed clients who require little care are best because they see no goodness in the land. When we ask others and ourselves the right questions about life and supply the right answers, the right and balanced feelings follow. And, the right answers invoke the right behavior. My brother was demanding because his task was to squeeze everything out of life that yet remained, and it is the aide’s duty to assist in that task.

I hope these passing thoughts are beneficial to you, because I love you, but I close with one more question: what is your gift given by God and its role in his body? When will you show others the goodness in the land? In the home fellowship assembly, we wait for no permission from mere men who buy their creditably with filthy lucre and have the audacity to speak for God in the name of man-stealing. We have but one gift-giver, and may God the Father bid you his speed for I cannot do the task for you, but for this…

…I will pray.

paul

4 Responses

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  1. John said, on December 14, 2017 at 4:52 PM

    You are a lovely soul, Paul.

    Like

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on December 14, 2017 at 5:54 PM

      Your prayers were felt here with us John…forever thankful.

      Like

  2. republican mother said, on December 14, 2017 at 6:45 PM

    Wow. You’ve got a real gift that you can (1) pack up your brother’s belongings AND (2) write up a short post that replaces most psychology mumbo jumbo AND (3) challenge the reader to seek their next task from God. As a fellow task-oriented person, I salute your productivity, but more importantly, I admire your great attitude.

    Life is too short to be depressed.

    Like

  3. Ken B said, on December 18, 2017 at 4:09 AM

    I found this post quite moving.

    Paul – this may not be the best time to ask this, but in a sentence what made you turn away from Reformed theology? Was it reading the bible and gradually finding this interpretive grid did not fit, or was it the effect it was having on your personal life and faith made you go back to the bible and look at it in a new light?

    I belong to the latter group, although I never managed to become a fully-fledged calvinist, there was always something about it that didn’t gell. But I am not the only person who found it changed them into the ‘frozen chosen’ and got fed up with it.

    Like


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