Links in a Chain: Confession … Obedience … Healing …. Wholeness

May 11, 2021

Jordan Peterson hit my radar about the same time that Candace Owens posted her first hilarious video coming out as a conservative. I think that was at least four years ago, maybe a little longer. I quickly became enthralled with the way he thought out loud in the classroom, struggling to find just the right words to adequately convey the deepest essence of what he was obviously seeing in his mind. With his background as a psychologist and his decades long studies of Jung, Carl Rogers, Freud, Piaget, Dostoevsky, and so many others, he had become the perfect human drill, reaching ever and ever further down through the layers of meaning in story. I have spent tens and tens of hours listening to his lectures on the Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories, and I’m always left to wonder.

I wonder why he always stops short.

Even so, I was hooked.

About two years ago JBP was “taken down” by the impactful side effects of a surprisingly common anti-anxiety medication, one that caused him significant neurological damage, damage that is still causing him great difficulty. But he’s getting better, thanks in large part to the diligent and determined support of his wonderful daughter Mikaela. She is another force to be reckoned with.  Anyway, I watched one of JBP’s recent podcasts, this one an interview with Jonathan Pageau, a thinker, an artist, and a Christian. At one point, JBP stopped talking, choked up, and then told Jonathon in a trembling voice he valiantly fought to control, that he often experienced something like Jung’s synchronicity … all the time, as if the “narrative was breaking through to touch the objective.” And he doesn’t know why he doesn’t believe (in the divine) … because what would happen to him if he …?

I did a dance right there in my office, tears streaming down my face.

It was only a few months back that I posted about Jung’s theory of Synchronicity. I’ve always experienced strings of incidents that don’t have any causal relationship except that together they hold meaning for me. I just didn’t know what it was before I read Jung … well, that’s not true. I knew it was God, but I didn’t know that it was a “thing.” I call it “God’s Theme of the Week.” It’s His way of calling me to come near, showing me something, guiding me into action, and letting me know He’s with me. So, you can imagine how logical it seemed that I would write Dr. Peterson and encourage him to not stop short … to move forward into the mystery, and find out what would happen.

Did I do it?

Nope. Why not? Because I don’t matter and he wouldn’t read it anyway, and it won’t make any difference. Yes, the muck is still gurgling and swirling around in my soul and messing with my mind, but at least there’s a little less of it today than there was yesterday.

Today’s scripture reading was in the book of Hebrews (and, no, I don’t plan these things):

 

12 Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

Hebrews 12:12

 

Having bookmarked the passage because it practically jumped off the page and punched me in the nose, I asked God what I should write about next. He said, “Obedience.”

I thought okay, even though I wasn’t clear why. I’m a little slow on the uptake.

“You need to start doing what I ask you to do when I ask you to do it.”

Okay, no need for concern. These are thoughts that pop into my head. There’s no audible voice, although I like to imagine that as He speaks to me, the entire house is silently vibrating, building into the low rumble of a powerful global tremor until, at the moment I say “yes,” it suddenly stops and the birds outside begin to sing again.

Back to JBP. About two years ago, I enrolled in Dr. Peterson’s self-authoring program. It has three parts: 1) Past Self, 2) Present Self), and 3) Future Self. It’s a very structured and exhaustive writing process that aims to excavate and dispose of all the junk you’ve been dragging around your whole life, junk that is hindering you from moving into a better future. The Present Self is a self-assessment of who you are today, and the Future Self is more of a planning process. I didn’t do that part. Honestly, I don’t have anything to plan … yet.

So, I worked really hard on the Past Self Authoring portion, and I expected to feel better, like Dr. Peterson had said I would. But I didn’t. Something was missing. I couldn’t figure it out. As far as I knew, I’d covered everything.

Then, several months later, I woke up with a rapid and continuous thread of flashing images and audio memories running through my mind. It was like a vivid dream, except I was awake. It took a minute to understand what it was.

The missing part.

My multitude of sins.

Mysteriously, I hadn’t ever remembered, confessed or taken responsibility for my sins. And I hadn’t written about any of them in the Past Self Authoring program. It was as if they’d been locked in a vault since middle school, inaccessible to my consciousness … until that morning.

What did I do then? I took and pulled His sacrifice into my mind, body, soul, and spirit.

I must have floated for days, telling everyone I met that I’d been saved. Yeah, I got a lot of weird looks.

Now, just to be clear. I had been saved decades before. But that day when the multitude of sins visited me upon my waking moments, I received the full benefit of Christ’s sacrifice into my being, allowing it to change my perspective, and I experienced a deep state of freedom.

Now … finally! … we are that point of this post.

There’s a chain of “things” I see here, all leading us to Christ.

First, I had to confess. Confession brought it all out on the table, full and laid bare to the eyes of Him Who laid down His life for me. And He did not shame me or condemn me.

Second, since He didn’t shame me or condemn me, I found myself willing to lean into a more intimate and trusting relationship with Him. In effect, I was made more ready to obey Him without evaluating the pros and cons, or using the old excuse of drooping hands and weak knees.

Third, healing comes out of the actions we take that are motivated by obedience; making straight paths for my feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

Fourth, wholeness is a re-integration of our broken selves through healing. Becoming whole is really about being transformed into the image of Christ.

That’s it … all I’ve got today.

I suppose I have a letter to write. I have no idea where to send it, but I’m not going to let that stop me. The Almighty will provide when the time comes.

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