The Traitor Within

Life is like an obstacle course in which we run like an Olympian athlete and at times getting nowhere. We exert a lot of energy trying to avoid life's ditches, jump over the potholes, leap across stumbling blocks, miss the dangers, and somehow sidestep the troubles. Of course, we could significantly improve our quality of life if we took the time to seriously think through our responses to situations. A load of troubles can be alleviated by a little forethought, a little preparation, and a little contrivance.

Some of the experiences we suffer we bring upon ourselves because we do not take the time to think through what our next move will be. We drift into so many agonizing complexities through our own thoughtlessness, hasty judgments, impulsive reactions, rash decisions, and failure to consider the cost.

We can also diminish some of our suffering if we could understand and accept the fact that most of our conflict is really mental. Our most insistent and insidious enemy is our own reactions to human situations. Our personal pride often prompts us to fear, shrink from, resent, or combat certain conditions, circumstances, or people. We do not want to love them or do not see how we can. Consequently, we draw back into our inner quivering, impotencies, aversions, and rebellions.

If we could only understand that there is no enemy, no conflict, except that which rages within. Our self-concern, self-importance and our almost unconquerable desire for self-justification causes more dissension and stress than any other element in the human makeup. It is the human traitor within ourselves that bars us from yielding to the will of God. It is time the traitor be exposed. God is waiting to take His rightful place in your life.

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available in July.

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