IN with is as important as OUT with

Last week, Melissa’s post on The IEP was our most viewed and got the most comments.

Our plan was to have her post her meeting aftermath thoughts today. Unfortunately, she’s under the weather so you get stuck with another of my esoteric, cosmically irrelevant musings. But it’s Sunday and you should be listening to an esoteric, cosmically irrelevant sermon today, so consider this divine justice. Like eating your vegetables, it builds character or something.


A wise friend posted some prayer advice on his website.  I noticed that his prayer pattern emphasized taking good qualities in as well as casting out the bad, for example “I pray for contentment and against greed.”

A Facebook friend posted about his new effort to stop smoking.  A comment thread developed, and up came the idea of thinking about positive ways to fill the moments that he’d usually fill with smoking.

A woman in a discussion group for care giving spouses admitted to sitting in her garage when she got back from an errand, not wanting to go back into the house and all the endless work facing her.  She was feeling guilty about staying out, but the other members encouraged her to use the time to take in – take in a few relaxing breaths, light a scented candle and take in the fragrance, turn on the radio and take in some pleasing music.

Care giving can expose our weaknesses and faults like just about no other undertaking.  We can feel monumentally weak and ashamed, and focus on the qualities we would like to cast out – impatience, resentment, anger, aches and pains, etc.  The more we grind on them, the bigger and badder they seem to get.

It is vitally important that we seek to take in.  We need to displace the negatives with positives.  Positive thoughts.  Pleasant sensations.  Peaceful prayer.

There’s a profound warning in the New Testament.  Jesus talked about the danger of just chasing away a negative, without filling its former space with what’s positive:

“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”  (Matthew 12:43-45, New Living Translation)

His followers came to know that the solution is to take in:

“…the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts of the Apostles 13:52, New English Version)

I’ll end these deep thoughts now… there’s been a bit of displacement down the hall.  Joey was thumping around in the bathtub.  Not a seizure, thank God, but just flipping his legs for fun, in a way that has most of the water out on the floor.  Gotta deal with that…

Yeah, another case where in would be better than out.


We’ll appreciate your thoughts and prayers for Melissa to feel better.  Hopefully, she’ll have those post-IEP thoughts up for you on Tuesday.

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