The Pecking Problem


Given the subject matter at hand, I’m probably not qualified to write this blog.

It should be written by a happy, peaceful person. Not that I’m completely miserable or altogether void of inner calm and tranquility. I probably have a million reasons to be happy. I just find it hard to think of them. Positive thoughts often elude me. Negative ones come naturally to me. I don’t have to chase after them. They just show up like an unwanted guest at a dinner party.

They’re the ultimate party crashers. Mental bullies. Emotional terrorists. Creeping, crawling insects of the mind. Who let them in? How can I get them out?

My family and I were recently stalked by a Crow. I don’t know what its problem was. He kept showing up on our front lawn pecking at the front steps. Sometimes he pecked at the windows. Maybe he was suffering from an identify crisis and thought he was a woodpecker. Or maybe my eyesight is worse than I thought and he really was a woodpecker and not a crow at all.

I told my wife one day that I wished to buy a pellet gun. It was the only fun solution I could think of to take care of our pecking problem. She didn’t think it was a good idea. She probably had doubts concerning my aim and feared for our neighbours safety. Not to mention our own safety.

But aren’t negative thoughts like the pecking of that Crow? Are they not troubling, tormenting and relentless? They never quit. If you leave them alone they’ll continue to peck away at your sanity. At the very least, negative thoughts will rip the joy right out of your heart.

The other day I was playing floor hockey in the basement with our son. The game went into double overtime and exhaustion began seeping into my aging bones. I suggested to the boy that it might be time to rap up the game as the possibility of cardiac arrest was looming over me.

He said, “Dad, relax. You need to get some joy in your life.”

I thought, “Where did that come from? Should I now take counsel from the lips of an eight-year old? Who did he think he was, telling me I needed to get some joy in my life?”

Trouble is, he was right. Of course, he wasn’t aware of my internal pecking problem. You see, I want to lighten up, I really do. But the constant peck, peck, peck, just wears you down after awhile. Maybe it’s not supposed to happen overnight. Some battles are fought over a period of weeks, or months or years. Perhaps for some of us, the battle of the mind is a lifetime struggle. We think a lot. We’re always thinking about something. But can we afford to just think about anything. Do we have no right to choose our own thoughts?

Yes, we do have the right but if we don’t exercise it we’ll be forced to live our lives joyless. Life for us will be like eating food when you have the flu and can’t really taste what you’re eating. No doubt, as long as the food enters your system it will still serve its intended purpose. But it’s much more fun when you can enjoy the taste.

Serving God, being a parent, and working are a few of many things you can do while miserable, but they’re much more fun when you can enjoy the taste.

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