I went to bed last night and got a good night’s sleep. Earlier in the day I had read that California’s Island Night Lizard has finally been removed from the Endangered Species List. Since I no longer needed to worry about this little guy, I could have sweet dreams.
Sadly, I woke up this morning with fresh concerns. Follow my logic: If this lizard has been removed from the Endangered Species List, does this mean it is now a “listless” lizard? Do you know what a “listless” lizard is? If it is “listless,” it is lethargic and lacks energy to do much of anything.
Guess what happens to listless, lethargic, low energy lizards? They end up on the Endangered Species List, and the cycle repeats itself.
All of this has been me having some fun with circular reasoning, but there is some truth to what I said: some cycles do repeat themselves.
When family dynamics are examined, it is easy to see that some cycles are repeated and projection is the dynamo that powers them. The stressed-out husband comes home from work and stumbles over a toy on the sidewalk. He yells out his wife projecting his stress on her. Frustrated she yells at the child, who doesn’t know what to do with his emotions, so he kicks the dog. The cycle begins to repeat when the dog bites the man who yells at the wife who then yells at the son who . . .
Spiritual dynamics can also go through a cycle and the book of Judges is a good example. When you read this book, you see a 4S Cycle: Sin, suffering, Supplication, Salvation
The Israelites would SIN, and because they chose to live in sin, they would begin to SUFFER. After they suffered at the hand of their enemies, they would offer up SUPPLICATIONS or prayers to God. SALVATION would come in the form of a Savior-Judge who would deliver them from their oppressors. After they enjoyed the blessings of God for a while, they would slowly slip back into sin and the cycle would repeat itself.
What cycles or routines do you see in your life and in your relationship with God? When you identify the process, interrupt it. In family dynamics, sometimes it’s taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and reevaluating the situation.
In your relationship with God, I suggest you interrupt the cycle by praying the words of Psalm 139: “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”