Staying Out of the Hell Well

no_thanksContinued from here.

Now that I have experienced life outside of a hell well, I refuse to go back in. However, I remain vulnerable to falling into a pit and the temptation to start digging again. Thus, I remain vigilant about engaging in spiritual disciples that protect me from falling into pits and turning them into hell wells. When I do fall in, these spiritual disciplines help me climb back out much faster. You can read about these specific spiritual disciplines in more detail here.

I spend the first hour of my day with God – no exceptions. I don’t care if I am traveling around the world or sick as a dog: I still start my day with God. Being sick is my Achilles’ heel and when I am most tempted to sleep through my quiet time with God. However, I do it, anyhow – not because I want to but because I am committed. It’s simply not optional. There are days when I am very sick that I might spend the entire hour sobbing about how miserable I feel, but I’m still spending that time with God. This is when I am most vulnerable to falling into a pit, so my commitment to spend my first hour with God ensures that He joins me in the pit. Spending focused time with God is my best insurance against turning a fall into a pit into another hell-well-digging experience.

Another important discipline is expressing gratitude, especially when I am feeling ungrateful. Each complaint digs another shovelful of dirt. The antidote is expressing gratitude, which invites shovelfuls of dirt back in. Even when I am sick and feeling sorry for myself, I am always grateful for the bathroom, so that’s where I start. I thank God for indoor plumbing, running water, hot showers, toilet paper, and anything else I can think of. I also thank God that I do not have to walk outdoors in my illness to use an outhouse. While I know this is still focused on myself (on my own comfort), it’s a bridge to recognizing how blessed I am, even when I do not feel blessed.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace holding up her hand and saying, “No thanks.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]