Stop the Beeping!
The beeping started at 4AM. Where is it coming from? Get the ladder and a new battery. Who put a dead battery with the new ones? Get another battery. Seriously, that one is dead, too? Stop the beeping!
Not exactly proud of this, but I’ve watched every episode of Friends multiple times. It makes me laugh. (There’s one aspect of it that I wish was different, but that’s another topic for another discussion.) So, when the beeping started at 4AM and continued every minute for a half hour (seeming like an eternity), I kept thinking about the episode where Phoebe couldn’t stop her fire alarm from going off.
She took the battery out. It kept beeping. She then ripped the alarm off the ceiling. Still beeping. She smashed it with a shoe. Beeping. Then, she wrapped it in a blanket and sent it down the garbage shoot only to have it returned to her by a fireman, the alarm still beeping.
So glad my husband handled the situation when the beeping began at 4AM, and he did so with patience even as I lay in bed chuckling every time a “new” battery failed to work. (It seems appropriate at this point to acknowledge that my husband is an insanely and frustratingly patient person. I would have done something like what Phoebe did if it was just me.)
As I lay there between bouts of chuckling and frustration, all I knew is that I just wanted the beeping to stop. In my desperation, I was willing to do almost anything for that to happen. Where was my shoe anyway?
Then I realized how often in life I just wanted something to stop — pain, disappointment, fear — and was willing to do just about anything to make that happen. That never turns out well.
Stop the pain through substance abuse or self-mutilation. Stop the loneliness with inappropriate physical contact. Stop the chaos by finding comfort in food. Do anything and everything to stop the pain and discomfort. (These aren’t all mine. I just wanted to share the space a bit.)
A Better Way
Fortunately, there is a better way.
God’s love stopped depression from ruining my relationships. It stopped my self-hatred. His love gives me hope for a future and joy right now. Focusing on His love removes guilt and brings new beginnings.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)
No, it doesn’t make sense. What the Bible says may seem crazy at times, and perhaps other paths seem more plausible. At least from a human point of view (Proverbs 21:2)
I simply can’t deny that my life was miserable, and Jesus brought me out of the pit. Nothing else worked. Self-help and material gain only dug the pit deeper thus creating a harder fall when I got back around to jumping in again. The beeping only got louder.
Out of desperation to just stop the beeping, we rush to temporary fixes, to Band-Aids that gush red. We just rip the alarm off the wall, forgetting that it’s there for our safety. Instead of patiently assessing and properly addressing the problem, we do whatever we can to quickly stop the beeping.
But our problems just keep returning. Until we have full batteries, the beeping won’t stop. We must address the source of the problem. The only way I’ve found for that to happen in a lasting way is through the love of Jesus that covers all my mistakes on the cross.