Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Are You Suffering from Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome?

Another throwback on the topic of forgetfulness, this one from April 2010, just a few months before I really started living at a break-neck speed that put me in survival mode, where I started seeing my Father as the enemy...

If you watch The Amazing Race, you see that no matter how the teams start the race, usually the longer they go at their crazy pace, the more they forget everything but winning. They forget kindness, they forget love, they forget who they are, where they came from, and what they’re about. I wonder if they were allowed to slow down for 30 minutes a day to talk to their family back home if it would help them remember—remember what’s real and what really matters. But far from home, they forget.

My sister came to visit last week, and we had a great time in the city, but I can’t imagine trying to keep that pace of life up for very long. Fun for a day or a week, but continuing at that pace makes you forget. Yet, since she left, I'm realizing I've been in this race for a while now in one way or another.  I've been forgetting.  Again. Forgetting who I am and what I'm about. And I haven’t taken even 30 minutes each day to be reminded. I stopped talking to my Father regularly. Far from home, I forgot.

I read a Ted Dekker book recently that I wasn’t into at first, but I really can’t walk away from one of his novels without thinking about the human condition—my condition. The book was The BoneMan’s Daughters, and it was essentially about a girl who is kidnapped and in order to survive she assimilates to her environment and the ways of the one who holds her captive. Her father pursues to rescue her, but she treats him as the enemy. Far from home, she forgot.

It made me think about how we are all prone to Stockholm syndrome. Far from home, we forget. We lose perspective. We develop distorted alliances and pursue misguided ends. We need to let the Father remind us who we are, where we’re from, what we’re about, and who He is. We need to slow down and remember.

…we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary… Hebrews 6:18-19

Signs of spiritual Stockholm syndrome:
1) Do you see God as the enemy, against you, just trying to make life difficult for you?
2) Are you too busy or distracted to spend 30 minutes a day to be reminded of what real and true?
3) Has survival or success or fun or other pursuits become more important to you than living for Christ?

Now life has slowed down for me, but I am still working on realigning what I know to be true, exchanging the truth for lies. I have to be reminded of what's real, who I am, who God is, and that I'm not just living to win or survive. There's more to life.

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