Posted in Christianity, Faith

Knot-tying


Tied up in knots. We use the phrase to describe that state of being in which we feel so anxious or confused that we cannot move forward. Our bodies agree with our brains. Muscles are also “tied in knots.”
But knots can be good things, holding things in place, keeping our shoes on tight or mooring a boat in rough waters.
In a world full of information, it is very easy to find our brains tied up in knots. From the internet to television, the radios that play as we wait in traffic, the smartphones that let us drown in messages wherever we are willing to take them, we are not only surrounded by information, we’re practically breathing it like oxygen.
When images and messages become this prevalent, it takes real persistence to keep the negative information out. We have to consciously choose what information we are willing to believe. Have you ever found yourself picking a box of cereal off the grocery shelf, telling yourself that this cereal is supposed to taste great or help you be healthy, only to realize that where you garnered that information was from a commercial, not from any real data?
The same kind of slippery slope happens all the time concerning our own self-image and, more importantly, morality, if we don’t have a clear definition of who we are and what we stand for. The moment we tell ourselves a certain action is OK because we’ve seen it portrayed as such so often on television, despite what the Bible has to say about the matter, we have truly let bad information tie us into knots.
The worst things about knots are that when we are tied up in them, we aren’t doing the one important thing–loving others. How can we be concerned with other people when we are tied up in our own selves?
So, how do we keep ourselves from being knotted? The “simple” solution would seem to be to think about the welfare of others more than we do ourselves, read our Bibles to be certain of the path of righteousness, and pray. Some days, those solutions seem to be working for me. Other days, I choose the wrong information, or too much information, and the knots make my brain hurt.
You would think on days like this, I would turn to my Bible or prayer even more than on normal days, but I have to admit that I do a grand job of knowing what I should do but not doing it more times than not (pardon the pun, had to do it at least once).
Jesus understood the threat of being tied up in knots. He told us to pray for deliverance from the evil one (and who would be better at tying a person up in knots than the devil?), prayed Himself for the strength to follow through on God’s will, even when He knew the outcome of His earthly existence, and sought moments to go to the quiet places where He could be still and know God, despite the masses making demands of Him all the time.
Seek your own quiet places. Turn off the television, the smartphones, the iPads and laptops. Choose to hear God’s voice, not the marketing bandwagon or your own self-reproving hangups. Look outward more often than you look inward, seeking to love others. The more good we do for others, the better we’ll feel about ourselves.
It may not keep us from knotting ourselves up every once and a while, but it certainly will keep us from staying tied up in them, useless to ourselves and, more importantly, to God.

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Author:

I am a 40-something Texan with a feisty cat and a supportive husband of 20 years. With a Master's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, I have taught creative writing at Texas Tech, won awards for my writing and been blessed to be mentored by Horn Professor and poet Dr. Walt McDonald. I earn a living by helping my husband's family run a health food store, but my avocation is writing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my triumphs and tragedies as I continue to work on figuring out what life is all about and on growing my ability to share my writing. May your own journey be a blessed one.

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