Monday, October 26, 2009

One At A Time

It's surely oversimplified, but a story I heard has fused itself on my brain for about a quarter century. A pastor I knew told about a lady in his congregation.

The lady struggled with being down in the dumps. Notice that I didn't say "depression" -- I'm certain her ailment was not depression. At least not the clinical type.

Anyway, this lady asked the pastor to come to her home and pray for her. He walked in (I hope he wasn't visiting alone, but that's another story.) and saw that her house was trashed. The lady was very low and she wanted a listening ear.

After a time, he told the lady that he knew how to cure her blues. "How?" she asked.

"I won't tell you unless you promise to follow my instructions."

"I'll try," was her reply.

"Then I won't tell you."

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"Have I ever given you anything to do that is impossible for you to do?"

"Uh, no," said the lady.

"Then I give you my word that the cure for your problems is within your ability and I will tell you what it is if you promise to do it."

"I'll try," she said again.

He arose to leave. "In that case, I won't tell you."

"But I'll try!" Pleading in her voice.

"No. I won't tell you unless you promise."

Finally, she gave in.

"When I leave, get up and go into your kitchen. Clean up that pile of dishes stacked in the sink. Tonight, call me and tell me three words: 'I did it.' Then I will give you the next step."

Fortunately, the lady followed through with her promise. The pastor gave her a series of small projects that, one-by-one, got her life manageable again. Within a few days, her blues were gone.
In case you're wondering, I haven't been in the blues. However, this story relates to something I can tell you about my recent absence here at Dwell and Cultivate.

I will do that tomorrow.



We're anxiously waiting...

C. Beth said...

Good stuff. I'm not a clean freak but my life definitely feels more manageable when it's not too much of a mess.

Dina said...

First - The story is a good reminder for those of us who sometimes have to fight the blues.

Second - I'm glad I'm reading this Monday night, because the mystery will be solved in a few hours. That is a good thing for someone who is not good at patiently waiting when my curiosity has been piqued. :)

Sam said...

With all that pressure, I may wait a week. Not really! Thanks Chewie, Beth and Dina!