December 26, 2013 Christmas Day+1
I had a brief battle with SIR JAMES yesterday morning.
Was it Post-Christmas Blues? Maybe
Was it unfulfilled expectations? Perhaps.
Was it too much excitement yesterday for an old man? Who, Me?
Was it two super-excited, hyperactive twin 10yr old grandsons? NAH!!!
It was SIR JAMES back at work in my mind, up to his old tricks again!
Allow me a few minutes this morning to introduce you to SIR JAMES.
Several months ago, I was standing in the kitchen at our church.
I could let you stand in the footprints where this moment was imprinted on my soul.
A man walked through the door and said: “Good Morning, SIR JAMES. How are you?”
I don’t remember my reply, but I remember what my thoughts were:
“Hmmm, I don’t think I remember ever being called SIR JAMES before.”
Somehow, I knew this name was going to become significant for me.
I’ve been called lots of different names in my life. I was born with “JIMMY” (My oldest sister – to this day…) Another sister calls me “JAY-BIRD”. I have no idea where that came from. My friend Carolyn calls me “JIM-BO”. My Dad’s nickname for me was “JIM JOHNSON”. When I was working for a living, I was “CAT” – from my last name. One of my co-workers even had a phone that meowed when I called.
Most names I’m called now are terms of warmth and endearment. It wasn’t always like this. Some names are recalled with less fondness – Jr High School. Playground bullies. My full name when Mom needed to REALLY get my attention.
As the next few weeks after this greeting in the kitchen went by, I began to understand who SIR JAMES is in my life. I now refer to him as my “abusive twin brother”. He lives in my head, he sleeps in my bed. I brush his teeth every morning. I used to comb his hair. (It fell out before it turned gray) He knows everything I ever did and somehow, he remembers it more than I do.
On second thought, he doesn’t remember it more – he remembers it differently.
He remembers the PAIN
He remembers the FEAR
He remembers the HURT, the ANGRY WORDs
He remembers NOT hearing the UNSAID WORDs I needed
He remembers that which I want to forget!
He keeps reminding me, every chance I give him.
In the few weeks that followed that Tuesday morning in the church kitchen, I began to recognize the Voice of SIR JAMES. I began to understand his intent. I came to see the patterns of speech he used. I came to know some of his favorite words. Words like “If Only you hadn’t…” “Remember When you did…” “He’s Better at that than…” “You Should’a…” and, of course, ‘You Shouldn’t ‘of…”
As the days unfolded, I began to be able to pay less attention to him. I discovered SIR JAMES had this annoying habit of waking up every morning a moment before I did. He’d begin with a whispered reminder of yesterday’s disappointment, of last month’s hurt. Of that time last year when I ______fillintheblank He’d recall the memories of an 11 year old 6th grade boy who’s teacher shamed and blamed him in front of his classmates.
In those few weeks, I discovered the futility of arguing with him. What words can be used in order to argue TRUTH? SIR JAMES never needed to lie to me. We both know the truth. I would not have listened if he had lied. He was simply using the dark side of the truth. It was meant to discourage me, to ultimately destroy me.
Some would call these thoughts the Voice of Satan. Perhaps it was. Perhaps it is. But – all my life, I’ve been told – “Satan Lies.” These weren’t lies. The power these thoughts have in my life is because of the TRUTH of them.
One of the first victories came when I stopped lying in bed listening to him. I had to stop talking back. I established a new morning routine: …Wake up. Get Up.(now) Put on robe’n slippers. Walk to kitchen. Start coffee. (answer nature’s call) Walk in family room. Turn on aquarium light. Turn on the soft light over my favorite Thomas Kinkaid picture. Start the gas log. Flip on coffee warmer. Return to kitchen for coffee. Sit down in my morning chair, The Place I reserve for this morning time.
Somehow, somewhere between my bed’n my morning place, he goes away.
He won’t follow. I found out he doesn’t like this quiet place where I meet with God.
Q4U – What’s the name of the person that sleeps in Ur head?