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As solo terrorist attacks dominate the daily news headlines with increasing frequency, it’s a great time to think about what you are supposed to be learning from all of these suicide bombers, random stabbers, and crazed gunmen. The psychological factors that turn Average Joe Citizen into a screaming assailant really aren’t so mysterious. People always have logical reasons for what they do, and whether it’s revenge, desperation, or dreams of a better life in eternity, the final results look the same to the public: some random guy violently assaulted a bunch of people without warning and now some people are dead and others are so horribly injured that they wish they were dead. Terrorism is, well, terrifying. So how is it affecting you when you pull up the news and read that another attack has occurred? Have you ever been caught in one of these gruesome events, or have you known someone who was? Noticing your own level of angst is quite important, because the more upset you are by these events, the more there is for you to learn. You see, when it comes to your own spiritual development, there’s a principle that’s quite useful to bear in mind: if it upsets you, then it’s partly about you. Continue reading
Your husband is a cop and he’s out trying to stop a gang fight. Your wife is a spy on a mission that she can’t talk about. Your brother is a federal agent who is tracking down some dangerous criminals. Your fiancé is a fireman trying to rescue people from a burning skyscraper. Your sister has been kidnapped. Your kid is in a coma. Your partner was gunned down on the field and the surgery isn’t going well. When our loved ones are in danger, the minutes feel like hours as we sit by the phone anxiously waiting for news. When we’re sick with worry, we can’t eat, we can’t sleep, and we can’t concentrate on anything else but all of the awful “what ifs.” So is this our only option in life—to sit around getting ulcers while we hope and pray for our loved ones to be returned to us safely? No, this is not our only option. We have much better choices available to us—choices that can greatly benefit our souls. But first we have to decide that we want to mature, and unfortunately most souls won’t make this choice. Continue reading
Life isn’t as simple as we want it to be. Sometimes we find ourselves being forced to choose between two options which each feel very wrong for different reasons. When there are moral issues on both sides, and when we’ve got our flesh screaming at us and our loved ones pressuring us in different directions, what do we do? How do we find peace with God when we’re feeling forced to choose between two evils? What happens when there is no third option that will magically resolve our crisis for us? This is real life: sometimes there is no option available to you that won’t fill your gut with nervous knots and make you feel like you’re being either a major creep or a total fool. But the good news is that even in these moments, there is a way to move forward, and that is what we’ll discuss in this post. Continue reading