Friday, March 14


My sister asked me what was my favorite/most-impacting lesson from Colorado. Then when I finished sharing about conflict, she asked about the next favorite.

Near the beginning of our time there, in the midst of our language learning weeks, we were given these wonderful short devotional-like lessons on adjustments to different cultures. One such lesson required a male volunteer who was bequeathed the name "Mr. Feelings." Mr. Feelings represents my feelings. Pretty simple.

Pretty soon one elastic colorful band was put around his waist, with two people holding onto it, on each side of him. They were instructed to pull the elastic band tight. This band represents expectations versus reality. At times our expectations may be greater than reality and therefore when reality is different than our expectations...TWANG...the elastic band snaps against our feelings.

But that isn't all. Another elastic band was placed around Mr. Feelings' waist, this one representing the paradox "Yay duck" and "Yuck duck," which as mentioned before, represents how in any situation we can and will have moments where we like one thing but dislike another thing. At times, it may be more Yuck than Yay...but even then, it's okay. It's good to acknowledge those feelings while they are present. But the Yuck-duck-moments still produce that TWANG...and your feelings are impacted.

Before Mr. Feelings could react a third elastic band was put around his waist. This time, it reflected wanting change or not wanting change. Naturally this comes through our desires and is connected to our feelings. TWANG goes the rope any time something comes your way that you don't want. TWANG goes the rope any time something you do want doesn't work out according to your expectations.

The last elastic band was placed around him, making the circle of volunteers, holding the bands around of Mr. Feelings, complete. This final band signifies other people's expectations on us, whether it is members of our families, friends, church, supporters, those we are ministering to, etc....As we fail to meet someone's expectations...TWANG! TWANG! And our feelings can be bruised from the repercussions of that!

These TWANGS happen naturally, whether overseas or at home. So how do we handle these TWANGS?  Well, we need to recognize that they are there...ignoring doesn't help. Then understand what you are feeling, and where there are core issues, work those out, if possible. They can be worked out through prayer, talking with friends, or readjusting our own viewpoints. Regardless, God is there to help...the Creator of our feelings!

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