Creating Your Inertia

“There is a gravitational field the Enemy creates around a person that pulls everyone in her life to do to her what he is doing to her.  Heads up – it’s not you, and being aware of it becomes a very helpful diagnosis.” – John Eldredge, Waking the Dead

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11

I’ve often wondered what it is that causes us to stumble over the same problems over and over again in our lives.  Whether it’s feeling neglected, idolizing our work, attention-seeking behavior or issues with anger, the same issues tend to follow a person in a semi-permanent fashion.  Modern psychology explains this inertia as the Law of Mirroring.  But it has always seemed to have deeper roots to me than that. 

When I was growing up, there was not yet a movement against bullying.  Instead, bullying was often blamed on the victim.  And in addition to dealing with the harassment, victims were now at fault for “allowing others to treat them this way.”  Insult was added to injury.  Stigma and paranoia were added to shame.  And the bullies were off the hook. 

Now, I’m grateful that schools have become wiser and more proactive over the years on this issue.  However, the easily applied justification of “he/she brings it in herself”, has dismissed many issues, and solved none.  In reading this chapter, I was struck by Eldredge’s words, “There is a gravitational field the Enemy creates around a person that pulls everyone in her life to do to her what he is doing to her.”  Suddenly, we have another explanation, and more importantly, we have an actual solution to the problem that puts the blame where it belongs. 

In this chapter Eldredge introduces powerful, specific prayers.  It occurs to me that my prayer life has not matured at the same rate as my age.  Yes, there will be times that I am praying with my kids, and the sweet, straightforward dinner or bedtime prayers of a child are a calming rhythm in the house.  But more intense situations require the prayers of a warrior, rather than a child.   

I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”  I will be honest – this is an area where I need to grow.  My most thoughtful prayers are usually for friends who are hurting and need to be strengthened.  But for myself?  Not so much.  I may say a few quick prayers throughout the day, but I am not covering each day in prayer, and walking into the world with that peaceful assurance. 

Eldredge offers us a challenge:  Try this way of praying for a week or two.  And see how your world changes.  Instead of rushing out the door, start by setting things right with God first.  Enter each day with an awareness of the “footholds” Satan has used over and over again in your life.  Don’t be blindsided.  Use your prayer time to create a new inertia – one of security, or contentment, or whatever would be the antithesis to your plight.  In time, and with the training of being a prayer warrior, we will find the healing to cover that old familiar wound.    

- Bekah Arias