Monday, June 28, 2021

The Elephant in Your Soul

The room is tense. Everybody knows what everybody is thinking. But no one wants to say it. It goes unsaid in a room full of pretenders. And everyone knows that everyone is pretending. 

Occasionally in such a situation, a brave soul may name it, causing a cascade of relief that the elephant has been named. Finally we can talk about it.

Naming the elephant always feels awkward. We don't know if others will acknowledge it. We don't know if we will be affirmed or rejected. We don't know if we will make enemies or allies. There is a risk in mentioning the elephant in the room. But once it has been mentioned, it has to be dealt with.

Sometimes there is an elephant in your soul. It may be an unhelpful pattern of thinking, a decision that must be made, the inevitable that you have been postponing, a habit to stop or start, a difficult conversation, a trip to the doctor. When the elephant is in the room, you have to consider the reaction of others. When the elephant is in your soul, you have to face something (potentially) much more frightening--your own response.

Once you finally face that elephant, you force yourself to deal with it. The internal battle is the hardest. You may become angry, fearful, or ashamed. You may have to get alone, or cry on someone's shoulder, or go for a long and sweaty run. You wrestle with yourself. You may wrestle with God. It is painful, exhausting, and scary. 

But when the internal battle is won, you can do the hard thing. Jesus will walk with you. He knows all about doing hard things. And he knows about the elephant in your soul.