Ugh.

Motivation is low.  It’s been a rough few weeks.  Two memorial services for members of my congregation.  A dear friend from our last parish had his appendix burst and underwent emergency surgery Saturday.  At the age of 89.  He’s doing well, but recovery is never a fun thing to experience or watch.  The spouse of my wife’s good friend committed suicide last week leaving his wife and 5-year old child to cope with this loss for the rest of their lives, not to mention his mother.  I continue slogging through discussions with people I care deeply about but who can’t (or won’t) come to grips with the possibility (let alone the reality) of the Biblical God, or even stay engaged in the conversation long enough to make progress (whatever that means).  I’m just about through two books – one a historical overview of the film industry & its relationship to religious groups in America and the other an annoying diatribe against the film industry by conservative pundits with a nasty habit of contradicting themselves every few pages.  Not exactly inspiring.

So when I ran across this article this morning, I figured I could find inspiration.  
Sigh.
Not that I expect anything more substantive than this from oprah.com, but come on.  I think that the opening line of #8 is really the most telling thing on this list.  It’s certainly the most honest, and because of that, it casts pretty much all the rest into serious doubt in terms of their usefulness and accuracy.  If you can’t trust your own mind, then how do you know it’s ok to break the rules in order to accomplish something great?   How can you trust what your own mind has told you in the majority of these questions? 
Note the emphasis here.  It’s all on me – everything is an I statement.  It’s as though the rest of the world doesn’t exist.  Not your spouse or your kids or your best friend or your boss or your pastor or anyone.  Nobody but you, and you have all the answers, if you can figure out how to outsmart that brain of yours that you admit can’t be trusted.  What a huge load.  In more ways than one.
Some of the ideas here are worthwhile.  Asking Big Questions is a good thing.  But saddling yourself with the sole and ultimate responsibility for answering all of them?  Well, I guess that ensures one thing.  You’ll be coming back to oprah.com looking for more self-help resources and motivational tips pretty quickly.  I’m certainly not feeling any more motivated than before!

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