Meltdown

No, not talking about losing control and going crazy.

Instead thinking about the amazing transformation that takes place in life as we let go of what might have been and anticipate what is coming. It’s not always easy. Some are quick to advise others to “move on” when times have been tough. I believe we are not all wired the same; “moving on” appears in different forms for a multitude of reasons. Where there is resolution, revelation, explanation, and even reasoning – “moving on” takes form and substance probably more quickly. When few of those helpful ingredients are manifest there is a greater challenge. Anger, regret, grief, and even revenge over the past can cause deep potholes to emerge on the road of “moving on”.

Some of us “move on” and bear no thought to consequence, accountability, or personal responsibility. Others of us carry too much of all three and lurch forward agonizing with every step. We need one another to find a balance in that journey traversing life in the past, present, and future.

It is far too easy to linger on the past and be robbed of our present and future. And when God has been an important part of our lives sometimes the process is complicated even more. We need loads of patience with one another, space to move (or not), time to heal, recognition that what may have worked for me could well not apply or be helpful for you. Eventually, no matter how we arrive, the time comes when we are weary of brooding, anger no longer comforts, and explanations or resolution being offered by others is not forthcoming. That’s when meltdown rises like the beautiful dawning of a new beginning.

It’s the moment when we step in and take charge. We gather up all the ‘issues’, regrets, disappointments, wrong moves, mistakes, and whatever else clutters our fretting heart and spirit, and take them somewhere. Many people dig a hole in the backyard of their beings and bury them. Others block them out, shoving them deep in drawers and other crevices of the mind.

To my way of thinking those options are the equivalent of stashing my garbage in the house or garden. I’d rather go to the dump and visit recycling. It’s a wonderful feeling unloading my vehicle of trash and driving home free of all that stuff.

There is a strange and common view that to be Christian implies perfection, best behavior, no wrong turns, no mistakes, no betrayals or desires for revenge. One of the significant and practical differences between a follower of Jesus and a self-sufficient fellow traveler is the access to a garbage dump. Fact is we all mess up no matter who we are. When Jesus died on the Cross for the sins of the world he opened the access to that unique place in the human spirit where forgiveness bubbles up for all who come. Throw the garbage in and the weight, the guilt, the stench, the accusation, the shame, is washed away.

And it’s more than that.

If we pay attention over time something new emerges. If we could see and hear in the supernatural we would discern that all that we have dumped, regretted, and agonized over has been recycled. Melted down in the infinite mystery and power of God to become something better, redemptive, more empowering, and character forming. A situation that broke us in the past loses it’s fear, what we used to hide from others is no longer a secret bringing shame. We discover that light shines more beautifully through the cracks of ‘who we are becoming’ – we have no need of a perfect story to feel accepted, secure, or even ‘Christian’. For instance, humility is never manifest in us brand new. It is always delivered from our meltdown past and gifted quietly from heaven to replace some of our less attractive junk.

I sometimes forget, but have never forgotten, how God showed me a shipwreck transformed into a life-bearing reef teeming with sea life and fish. “That’s what I do with all you bring me,” he whispered. Whether melting down and making new, or sinking ships, he redeems and transforms – always.

The take away? Stop trying to be perfect or covering up the less attractive parts of you. Consider and face the past until you can honestly bundle it up and let go – without having reasons and answers. That’s a sure way to make space for the new and better qualities of character and life to be received. Others will rejoice and you will be blessed. Meltdown is a great antidote to a hardened heart. Mercifully, it even takes with it the need to know why.

John Cox

Christian Author

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