I’ve been thinking lately about being "stuck." Being stuck is to feel trapped or unable to move. Doesn’t sound fun does it? Yet, I think many of us know what it means to be stuck.
- We can become stuck in the way we relate to one another in marriage. We continue to behave in the same manner toward one another and get the same results.
- We can become stuck in the way we relate to our children or parents. What we are doing seems to create such a negative atmosphere in our home.
- We can become stuck in the way we handle ourselves at work. We continue to approach our work in the same old tired way. Our jobs may feel boring and without purpose.
One of the greatest obstacles that many of us face is to become stuck in our thinking. In our minds, we have very few options. It is either black/white. It is either/or. Maybe that is true at times, but some people seem to reduce all of life to this. As a result, they continually lean toward whatever is low risk and fairly predictable.
Being stuck feels hopeless and lifeless. Feeling stuck has a way of sucking the energy out of you. "Oh well," you sigh in resignation.
This is familiar territory for me. On more than one occasion, I have experienced defeat — not on the battlefield but in my mind. I felt as if I had few, if any, options and was basically trapped in my circumstances as they existed. This kind of thinking made me feel tired and unmotivated. "What’s the use?" I was bogged down and stuck. However, it was not the impossible circumstances of my life that created those feelings. Rather, it was my failure to trust in the God who redefines the meaning of "possible."
There is another way to live. I love the words Jesus uttered in Mark 10 after challenging a "stuck" person to sell all he had and give to the poor. This person was stuck or attached to his possessions. The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ words, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" (10:23). The more he talked, the more amazed they were. Finally, they began to say to one another, "Who then can be saved?" Then, Jesus said these amazing words:
…With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:27)
God can even deliver a person who is stuck in the bondage of his possessions! God can change the most impossible person. God can set free a person who has been in bondage to a destructive habit, addiction, or lifestyle. God can set free our thinking. Instead of focusing on what is possible for a human being to do, I can begin to focus on God. Jesus reminds us that our God is not limited by what is possible for a human being to accomplish.
Perhaps my focus needs to be not on myself, my limitations, and my inadequacies. Perhaps my focus needs to be on God and his unlimited power and his adequacy.
This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. Can you recall a time when your thinking became stuck? What in particular was or has been helpful to you in getting unstuck?