Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Tendonitis happens when an injured tendon does not receive enough blood and therefore, not enough oxygen, to heal. Repeated abuse of the tendon without complete healing creates a joint that is swollen, sore, and weak. Pianists and typists get it. So do tennis players who hurt their elbows. Time, ice, and rest help overcome the injury.

I seem to be in a "word warp" with synonyms, homonyms, and adjectives tumbling around my head. Take tendency-itis, which is not a real word but bears some of the symptoms of tendonitis, which is real. Tendency-itis: repeated patterns of behavior in small and large decisions determines the warp of a character and personality. "She tends to look on the bright side." "He tends to think only in accounting terms." Tendencies.

Some tendancy-itis is brought on by physical, mental, or soul defects. For instance, syndromes of attention deficit disorders include loss of focus, impulsive behavior, widespread interests (with ambitious projects rarely brought to completion), and misplacing things.

"You always lose things," grumps my husband when I'm looking for keys, books, or other items.

Well, that's true. I've always lost things and getting older hasn't helped. Over the years, I've put organizational systems in place. It still depends on scatter-brained me to make the organizing tweaks work. Too bad. Usually I drop my keys in the same place. But sometimes I don't. Usually I bring library books into the bedroom and put them down where they belong. But sometimes I don't. And that's where any perfect system breaks down into chaos.

"AAAAh, I've got to find my keys (or books, or...whatever)!" I wail as I dash around from kitchen counter to rummaging through purses and pockets of jackets I've worn in the last week.

Here's another tendency. Impulsiveness is promoted in society rather than corrected. For those with ADD or ADHD, we'll never wish it away or completely overcome our impulses so we learn to live with them and try not to act them out. "Oh, looks good. Let's try that!"

No, no, no. "Stop right now and think it through."

However, American capitalism advertises to seduce even the most careful consumers to buy things they don't need, want, or have storage for. Giving in creates a monster that "needs" to buy, acquire, and squirrel away. Undoing the flawed worldview of depending on stuff to bring happiness is a long process because it bucks every trend and promotion that our economy is built on.

Christ calls us to form tendencies that heal, not hurt. To bless, not curse. To be wise stewards of time, talent, and money. We are to ask him for things that benefit others, not just ourselves. Like with tendonitis, we need rest, to put things away or "on ice," and give ourselves time as we heal from unsound habits.

Our warped tendency-itis needs sound input into the value system and continual replacement of bad ideas with good. Only then can we leave behind sinful reflexes that war against the soul. Thinking on things that are good, pure, noble, or good report, and thanking God for his loving kindness? Now those are tendencies we could happily live with.

Read more:
*My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fairevery good path. Proverbs 2:1-9 NIV

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