“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind.”
-II Timothy 1:7
I do not have a sound mind. Maybe in a clinical sense yes (well maybe not actually), but certainly not in a biblical sense. According to the definition in my bible, sophronismos, signifying a safe mind “denotes good judgement, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.”
Disciplined thought patterns, self-control, self-discipline. These phrases enter in and drown in the mental milieu that is my brain. They are things I aspire to be possessed of, but they aren’t buoyant enough to stay afloat. So they sink down into the sludge and settle until something inevitably comes to stir the sea. But they are deeeeeep. In writing this IBS I had to dive down to find them. It’s been a treacherous journey and I’ve only just revealed the most preliminary amounts of them. Largely however, they remain lodged in the sludge of dead thoughts.
This particular search and rescue mission began last week. I dove into the first zone of the ocean, the Sunlit zone, and that was tricky. There was cool stuff floating around, and even cooler stuff flying around above water. But I was persistent. I would not be taken off course that quickly.
Then came the Twilight zone. There were fewer distractions, and I made rapid progress. Soon I found myself in what is called the Midnight zone. This is where the trouble began. New and interesting creatures swirled through the dark waters. My curiosity impelled me to learn all I could about them. Here is a sampling of all the thought-creatures that stole my attention throughout my journey to the sea floor:
Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a great song. I’m going to learn it on the flute.
And the guitar.
While I’m at it, I should probably practice mandolin scales.
But first it’s time I learned every trill combination that exists.
What’s this? Multiphonics? Alright I am going to master playing two notes at the same time, TODAY.
Four hours later
Shoot. I’m off topic. Dear Lord please give me focus. Grant me the capacity to be entirely where I am, and please oh please give me an application for this IBS.
Spirit of fear, spirit of fear. I know where it comes from, but where does it reside. The amygdala right? Better make sure.
I wonder if I would be too fearful to enjoy it if I went wwoofing or something like that completely by myself. People do it. I could do it.
Oh my gosh, Lisa, that lesbian Luddite! She was totally rockin’ it. Just traveling around in that little van with a wood stove.
But that was more than a few months of exploration, that was a straight up nomadic lifestyle.
I’d get burned out. Then again I’d get burned out sitting behind a desk all day.
I’ll have to open a Bed and Breakfast. It’s the only way to feed all of my passions from the same bottle. The only way.
I then proceeded to research the ins and outs of starting/owning a b&b. This took some time.
Well shoot. I simply do not have the resources to accomplish this. But I could totally do Airb&b!
What’s their commission rate? Oh that’s not terrible. Could I work a 9-5 simultaneously? Nope this would have to be full time op. I’m gonna need help.
Dear Lord if it be your will please grant me the skills and resources to own and operate a successful b&b, one that glorifies You and doesn’t pull me away from Your presence.
After giving it to God I found peace and said whatever will be will be. Naturally it was appropriate to let my mind wander unhinged. Soon I had constructed a full scale hospitality empire.
There will be an extensive garden and plant nursery. I will host wwoofers. One floor of the building will be hostel style, lined with affordable bunks and lockers for the budget traveler.
But I must pander also to the affluent. Saunas- small outdoor, private, for every suite style room.
Obviously there would have to be a cafe, at the very least, if not an entire restaurant.
Tea bar. Must have a tea bar. Adjacent to the library. Away from the gym.
What’s gonna be the selling point for this place? The best B&bs possess that quintessential charm that only comes from an historic building, but there is no way I will find a property with all of these components.
It’s gonna have to be a new build.
Unless of course I could customize an existing spot that had the right skeleton. Would it still be considered historic if it was remodeled? How does that work?
What is going to be more cost effective, that’s the real question.
Ohhhh the money flow could be finicky if my location doesn’t have year round attractions. I’ll need something to bring in big bucks a few times a year.
Event venue. Weddings, quinceñeras, family reunions, intimate concerts, perfect.
But wait. What if a gay couple wants to use my venue? How do I navigate these waters in a Christlike manner? Do I welcome them with open arms? That seems like the obvious answer, but then again, as an ambassador of Christ do I want to encourage practices that are contrary to His divine will for humanity? But shoot, if I’m going to take a stand there should I not also bar couples that are cohabiting? That’s not quite the same though, is it?
Yes, sin is sin, but upon entering a marriage covenant are they not seeking to rectify that lifestyle of sin?
Ugh, but what if people think I hate the LGBQT community. They will, they totally will. Which I don’t, and wouldn’t blame them for thinking that, but I don’t want to endorse anything that deviates from the unspeakably beautiful design for life that the Source of all wisdom, knowledge, and love has crafted.
Do I even have the right to make calls on who is eligible to rent my facility? I don’t think I do. Heaven’s to Betsy it’ll be worse than the cupcake debacle in Portland a few years back.
Maybe it is not God’s will that I be an innkeeper. I’m sure he’ll let me know. In the meantime I’ll keep praying about it and studying all things b&b.
Ok. Time to get back to work on this IBS.
Somehow I ended up near the end of John’s gospel, where Jesus was eating breakfast with all the disciples after their miraculous catch of 153 fish.
Breakfast by the Sea. That’s it! I love it. But wait I’m sure that’s been done before. Plus it’s kind of kitschy. Oh but do I want it to be kitschy? Who am I trying to appeal to? What’s my demographic?
Gracious me, how does this happen!?
Alright. Lord, please keep me on task.
Why is my brain like this? Why can I not just sit down and be inspired by the task at hand?
It’s like my brain is the ocean. I keep discovering new creatures I didn’t know existed and I can’t help but investigate.
Oh shooooot that would make a solid metaphor for this IBS.
What are the ocean levels? Or are they zones? I need the Google.
As you can see, that brings us to the beginning of this writing.
In all honesty I’ve been avoiding writing this because I knew it wouldn’t be drenched in profound, applicable, insights about the Creator. And I’m not sure it even makes sense. This whole post is like being thirteen and thinking you’re lookin’ all sorts of good. Then you see a picture of your thirteen year old self once you’re an adult, and involuntarily you clench your teeth, take a sharp intake of air, and look away disgusted saying “what on earth? How could I have possibly thought that was a good idea?” I really don’t want to post it. But I’m going to, because I’m probably about fifty IBSs behind where I should be. I’m also going to post it because it’s what I’m really like most of the time, a mess. I want to apologize to you, dear reader, you’re a champ if you’ve continued this far. In this disaster of a post, at least the conclusion is painfully obvious. I need help. I need Jesus. I need the Holy Spirit.
I cannot simply stop this tangled deluge of thoughts. The well never dries. Instead I must begin to draw my thought water from a different source, the well of the living God. So next time I begin to lose focus, as soon as I recognize what’s happening I will open up to the gospel of John in hopes that I may become enraptured by the character of Christ rather than my inane ramblings.