“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
A song from Skillet, “One Day Too Late” got me thinking about my childhood in the ’70’s and the things I used to escape my clinical depression, the tension in the house, and my mother’s criticism. My family and I had no idea what clinical depression was back then, and those of us who suffered from it were often told to, “Get over it,” or “If you try hard enough you’ll come out of it,” which was quite discouraging, for no amount of trying can remove clinical problems like depression. But we found ways of coping:
Like me for instance, I escaped through the pop music on my little radio (before the days the internet and YouTube). I’d listen to WKY for hours while the music recycled, just to hear my favorite songs over again. Songs like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”, 3 Dog Night’s “Joy to the World, The Eagles’ “Hotel California” and more, trying to find comfort in the songs and some way of explaining why I felt the way I did.
My other ways of escape where reading and re-reading my precious books, or books from the nearest library (I probably read every book in the children’s, and youth section’s). Diving in to the stories. Living another person’s life or sharing the adventures with the characters. And my writing. I wrote stories; creating friends who didn’t berate me, or tease me cruelly, or put me down because of my perceived faults. I wrote to try to understand who I was and who I was supposed to be.
Like my son, many kids today seek escape through video games. Others find escape in drugs or drinking; self medicating to escape their own depression and the pressures and demands of being a youth, which worse now than it ever was. I must confess that I am a casual gamer, playing Solitaire or Jewel Quest on my tablet in my spare time.
But lately I’ve begun to seek comfort in my God more than anything else the world can offer. I found myself praying that God would show Himself in my life more and more, and have realized that having my Savior, Jesus Christ, in every area of my life is MY escape from reality. It’s time. Time to live life to the fullest. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 That’s what You said Lord in Your word and I hold to that promise. Equip me to face the rest of the world and cope with the harshness of reality, and the strength to pursue what God has in store for me to accomplish, which is His victory in my life and the lives of the people who follow Him.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for giving my life purpose and meaning, the most important meaning of all; spreading the gospel in the unique way You’ve chosen for me to accomplish Your will. I pray for those in spiritual darkness brought on by depression and other worldly influences, that You in Your mercy will set them free by Your Spirit and Your word. Amen.