Here goes again...

Friday, August 15, 2008
*Wow, I finally have a night to write this all out... I have been planning on writing this since the night of my last "deep spiritual" post (a few days ago) but I haven't had the time... here goes!*

*... err, another point first: After writing the below post, I realize that it is not one of my better posts. My thoughts jump around, my points are not all clear, and my train of thought is a wreck... (get it? train... wreck... oh never mind) but I don't know how else to say it, so I will let it stand as it is. I hope you can follow along well enough.*

Oh, where to start... there's a good place! I was at my brother's house the other day and noticed that he had a sheet of paper taped to his desk near his monitor, so sitting at his computer it is impossible to miss. It is a list of his goals and his focuses (foci?) in life. A simple way to constantly remind him what to stay focused on and what his goals are.

My first reaction: wow, that is LAME! (roxorz boxorz omg...hax) But the idea kinda grew on me...

See, the other night after I posted my "I am spiritually depressed" post, I was lying in bed, and some thoughts came to my mind, and because I had seen Stephen's list, I grabbed a sheet of paper and a pencil. Here is what I came up with (and I quote):

Don't focus on what I can get away with,
         but focus on God!
A perception; a mind change
         to focus on God in everything.
Friends keep you company,
         friends keep you Godly*,
                 family does the same.


Let me break that down as to what it means to me,

Don't focus on what I can get away with,
         but focus on God!


Eleven months ago I "came out" about my pornography addiction. In many ways that has helped me, but it has also made me lower my defenses. While I haven't viewed any pornographic material in several years, in the last six months I have looked at things that I shouldn't have. I will come back to this point later, but I wanted to make this side point here: while I kept strong in my resolution to not look at pornography, I haven't done so good with my resolution to not lust.

See, I have been struggling with mind games, looking at things I shouldn't have and then making excuses for them (wasn't that what I was doing all along?). In other words, I was seeing how much I could get away with, and it hit me ("A bus?" "No, an idea!"): I can't go through life seeing how much I can get away with. That is not what God calls us to do. He doesn't say "Go and make disciples of all the nations... when or if you feel like it." or "If you want to get into heaven... do what feels good." He calls us to devote our entire lives to serve him in everything that we do. So the first part of the note to myself reminds me that I shouldn't push the envelope, I should stay on God's side as much as possible.

A perception; a mind change
         to focus on God in everything.


This is a continuation of the previous point: Always keep your mind on God! Now, I want to point out that while the previous point had the specific application of lust, it is transferrable to everything in life (as this point emphasizes). To speed or not to speed, now the choice is clear. "Should I watch this raunchy movie?" I think not. And, instead of simply giving money to a charity/church, why not give your time and effort? When you choose to focus on God, everything changes.

Friends keep you company,
         friends keep you Godly*,
                 family does the same.


This one is more personal to me. It is a reminder to not shut myself in my apartment, to not confine myself to be alone. I never got around to explaining my poem "Dark (I still plan to), but part of it deals with me enclosing myself in my room and not leaving. Being alone is a demon of mine, and I am constantly fighting it. This also emphasizes that family is amazing and important to me, but friends can also play an important role, so much so that it mentions that "friends can do these things, oh, and so can family."

Also, note the "*" (I have no idea how you spell that). This is getting back to the line of thought that I was talking about earlier (about viewing bad stuff). I decided to (finally) submit to having a "watcher" program on my computer; I choose Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes is simply a program that runs on my computer that tracks all of the web pages that I look at, then it rates me and tells my accountability partner how I have been doing. It won't stop me from viewing bad things, but if I do look at morally-questionable material, my accountability partner will know about it. (And no, I am not naming this person, but I do have an accountability partner).

Getting back to the point... my note to myself says "friends keep you Godly*" serves as several reminders:
Friends will keep you accountable,
Friends will keep you on the right path,
I have a watchdog on my computer, so don't look at anything stupid!

NOTE: The above note to myself, unlike Stephen's list, is not a comprehensive list, it is not a detailed list or an all-inclusive list. It was simply a list of resolutions that I wanted to be reminded of on a daily basis. I don't have this hanging on my wall yet, but I may soon.

OK, back to story time. As I was laying there in bed, after writing all these things out, I turned the sheet over and wrote a prayer:

Lord God, May this not be a tonight-thing, today-thing, or now-thing; may it be a for-the-rest-of-my-life-thing, a permanent-thing. Amen.

That was and is my prayer, that what I wrote down won't be a temporary fix or a spiritual high. I pray that my life will be changed, that those items will be a new leaf in my life, that I may be baptized and be washed new, out with the old, in with the new, a born again I-don't-want-to-go-back-for-anything resolution to change my life. I pray that you may also find the courage to write a list that will help you define your new life.

Matthew

4 comments:

Bwige said...

I prayed a really long time time for you yesterday. I really appreciate how real you are on these posts, and I think you are on the brink of something wonderful in your life. I hope that comes soon. I have a lot of faith in this person you are becoming.

Luke said...

Praise God for the path you have been on, coming out of a life of addiction to porn!

I'd love to read your testimony about how Covenant Eyes has been a help to you in your process of recovery. I work for Covenant Eyes and I am always looking for stories from our members who have been blessed by the software. If you want to share more of your story, please email me at luke.gilkerson@covenanteyes.com

In His Grip,
Luke Gilkerson
Internet Community Manager
Covenant Eyes

Matt said...

ditto, Bwige...

Luke said...

Hello again,

Thought you might want to see this new video Covenant Eyes has made:

http://katanna.blogspot.com/2008/08/here-goes-again.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ICTrHtUkx8