A couple new insights

On Monday Night at our men’s group we are looking at patterns of behavior. We are using an analogy of a train. The engine represents a “trigger event.” That event then taps the second car of the train, the coal car or fuel car. That car represents the emotion we feel not just because of the trigger event, but largely through how we interpret the trigger event. This then leads to a pattern represented by numerous train cars that follow. Ultimately, we wake up in the sleeper car, the next to last car on the train wondering, “How did I get here again?” The caboose represents the consequence or outcome then of the entire pattern. Here is an example of what I mean. A guy comes home from work and the wife has been working all day too. As soon as they are together an argument starts, something is said that stings (trigger event) that comment is interpreted (you never understand me) and taps an emotion. That emotion fuels the pattern, the guy runs for a man cave somewhere and clams up or has an angry outburst and then runs. Nothing is resolved. It may lead to the silent treatment for days. Finally, he wakes up and says, I swore I would not react that way anymore and here I am, how did I get here. The consequence is more distance, having to grovel, or apologize. The pattern just keeps repeating itself. Here is why, “When you do what you always did, you get what you always got.”
The next insight is before sin entered the world, God looked at Adam, who had a great relationship with God, and said, “It is not good for you to be ALONE.” I believe we are designed to need intimacy with God AND with some significant other people in our lives, primarily your spouse if you are married. But the above kind of patterns become entrenched early and they guarantee we will not be able to have a deep connection with our spouse. I got this picture of a fruit tree. The roots go deep into the ground for nurishment and that represents our intimacy with God. When we don’t have the deep connection with our spouse and a few close friends represented by the main trunk of the tree and the branches that bear fruit, we often put all the nutrients into “sucker” branches. I remember as a kid, dad teaching me about suckers. They are branches on a tree that take nutrients but have no purpose. They don’t bear fruit, they just take from the main tree and the fruit so it isn’t as good. They had to be cut off. See, because when you are in a committed relationship more is at stake, it makes it more difficult to share deeply in life because we fear hurting our partners or that we will be hurt. It is easier to invest energy into “sucker” branches. Get this, when we avoid the main branch and invest in the suckers, we guarantee we will never find what we are looking for that deep connection. Something must change. We must wade through the emotion, potential hurts and fears and invest heavily in deep levels of communication with our partner. Only when we break the pattern of running at the first little ping of hurt can we learn this new pattern.
Hope that is clear?

About Scott Ranck

Enjoying life with my wife Gayle and our Yorkie, Zoe boy. I've come to believe life begins when through brokenness I can embrace it fully and openly. I've learned the human drama is an adventure and all of us are made of the same stuff. The Lord is the only being who knows me fully and he has an individual educational plan of life long learning for me and I'm enrolled. This blog is all about what I'm learning.
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