My wife suggested that I should write about obsessing. She even offered that I could use her as an example. With discretion being the better part of valour, and wisdom telling me that even with permission I’m asking for trouble on that one, I decided to write about obsessing but use myself as the example.
Back when we lived in Saskatchewan, I was elected as school trustee for our division. Actually, I walked into the local coffee shop at the wrong moment and someone said, “Hey, David will do it.” During my one and only term we had to take some disciplinary action against the principal from the school in my town. Due to concerns over liable and defamation suits, I was not permitted to explain to anyone about the reasons for the actions we were taking, and as a result I took a fair bit of criticism from the community even though to this day I know we did the right thing.
I began to have these conversations in my head with my various critics in which I would prove to them the justness of our actions. Really what was happening was that I was beginning, and continued for some weeks, to obsess over the situation.
Obsessing is another word for worrying or being anxious which, when you break it right down, simply means I’m not trusting God and I want to fix it myself. This is a very powerful drive within us. In my situation it got to the point where I was, well, obsessed by it.
The Bible tells us to be anxious or obsess about nothing, but with prayers and pleadings, we are to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6). Even in that our tendency is to simply begin to obsess in prayer. What he is really getting at is that we need to change our focus. Instead of obsessing on what we wish to overcome, obsess about Jesus and our relationship with him, and the overcoming will happen. As long as our focus is on overcoming we will obsess about the issue. When we obsess on Jesus, the consequence will be that the issue is overcome.
In my situation God led me to develop my relationship with Jesus through interceding on behalf of this principal and her family. I purposefully asked God to bless this person and bring success to her endeavours. It worked. I overcame my obsession. More accurately, as I began obsessing more on Jesus my other obsession was overcome.