Pavlov had a very interesting experiment. I’m sure you remember… The dogs. He would subject the dogs to various stimuli (i.e. ring a bell, start a metronome, etc) and feed the dogs. Over a good bit of time (many feedings), the dogs subconsciously react to the stimulus and would salivate when the bell rang without being fed.
We are not so much different, right? I mean, we subject ourselves to various stimuli and over time it creates an automatic reaction.
Case in point…A few years back, I started working a full-time job and at least one part-time job…sometimes two. I learned to be very efficient and work hard but still conserve energy to some extent. After all, 15-20 hour days will take a toll on your body. Well, now that I am only working 40 hours per week (outside of family and school) I am constantly in a state of feeling inadequate because I’m not working 15-20 hours per week. So what do I do? Busy myself. Over-commit myself in a lot of cases. So the inadequacies I feel with NOT working so many hours cause anxiety. The same type of anxious feelings that I used to get day after day for about 3 years of getting very little sleep.
Or how about this one…what are some things that your spouse (or close friend) do now that frustrated the mess out of you, but you used to think were funny? Oh! Yep, I saw that. You just thought of about four of them, right? Yep. THAT’s what I’m talking about.
Well, I wish I could say that a long day was my only “bell” or trigger. Nope, I have dozens. There are words or phrases, smells, noises, looks…and even more that will not process through this brain of mine after being awake for 20 hours now. (See…ring ring.) There are certain smells that cause me to become frustrated or cause me to look over my shoulder. There are phrases or words that cause my heart to sink or my blood to boil. Other noises still that make me cringe… Why?
I think we are shaped by every little decision or happening. Those are times that God refines our character…works on us by revealing our sins and flawed ways by not being surrendered.
So the questions for tonight (or today) are:
What are your bells? What evokes your emotions? What provokes your anger? What are you doing to let God receive glory from the situation? Is it a time that you bite the hand that feeds?
Your thoughts, please. If this public forum is too much, please feel free to send me a Private/Direct Message or email.