When the Water is Bitter: How to come through bitter experiences with peace and purpose

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I don’t like going to the dentist.  I don’t like the picking and the scraping. And God forbid that there be any drilling! Although I have had a fairly stellar record at the dentist, even the cleanings give me the willies! So when my hygienist wanted to do a deep cleaning at my last visit, she put some liquid Novocain on my gums.  She told me it would taste bitter and boy-oh-boy, she wasn’t kidding! That liquid ran down the back of my tongue and not only tasted terrible, but numbed my throat more effectively than the gums she was working on!

Our lives are full of experiences that are bitter, don’t you think? Some of the experiences are slightly bitter, like liquid Novocain, and are quickly recovered from.

But other experiences leave such a residual bad taste in our mouths that we can’t stop thinking about them.  We ponder the Why, the How, and the What of the situation.  We talk about the problem; we think about the problem; we pray about the problem.  But real, authentic bitterness is more like a soul tattoo than like Novocain that wears off.  It’s going to take a purposeful procedure to get that removed.

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Procrastination: The Wide Open Window of Missed Opportunity


Ephesians 5:15 -17: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

I woke up the other morning with the most bizarre image stuck in my brain. I’m not sure if it was the tail-end of a dream, or if it was the morning musings of my thoughts as I was waking up, but here it is:

I was looking at a man sitting in a row of seats in a movie theater.  He was totally alone in the theater, stuffing his face with popcorn.  Some of the popcorn was missing his mouth because he was so engrossed in the film on the screen that he didn’t always make the hand-to-mouth connection.  As I looked to the screen, I realized that he was watching his own life being played out onscreen.  He was enthralled just watching it all play out.  In my mind, I remember thinking to myself how sad it is that he was a spectator of his own story.  He should have playing the role of Actor/ Writer/ Director, like many of the famous Hollywood actors of today.

All morning long I could not get that image of the man watching his life onscreen out of my head.

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