Monday, August 21, 2017

Cheese Hunting




I recently read one of those Facebook memory posts. You know the type. Here's something you posted two years ago; why don’t you repost it?
I chose not to repost. Not because it wasn’t relevant. It was very relevant. In fact I could have written it this week. I didn’t post it because a) no one would want to hear it again and b) I found it confronting.
Ever feel like the cliché ‘going around the mountain one more time’ applies to you? Well this was that kind of moment.
In the post I asked for prayer because of health and work frustrations – frustrations almost identical to those that pushed me to tears this week. Now prayer is good. It is one of the most powerful forces on earth and essential to our relationship with our loving God. It is also a way we can help one another. Writing, while lots of fun, can be a lonely business and online communities like CWD can be a place of invaluable support. Life throws a plethora of plot twists at us and many in this group have asked others to stand in the gap while they negotiated a difficult chapter in their life. Asking for prayer is good. What isn’t good is that my situation hadn’t changed at all.
Who wants to read a story where the protagonist makes no progress and continues in the same story loop chapter after chapter?
Now there are some things that we can’t change. Health issues are often beyond our control. I believe our God longs to heal us but I also know that healing is a mystery. I’m still believing and still trying things. Like many others in this community, I’ve known God’s strength and sustaining power – but I haven’t seen the breakthrough. Yet.
But what of career? The day job issue is a biggie for us creative types. We often need it to make ends meet and it can give us a sense of satisfaction and social connection – yet it can work against us too. I still work part time in a physical profession and have experienced niggling injuries and other issues that make it hard to be creative in my downtime. Much of my mountain circling has involved this cycle of frustration.
Now this frustration is understandable but to still be in the same position two years down the track and not having made changes? That’s not as understandable. If you never make changes how do you expect things to change?
There is a popular motivational book called ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. The story features two little human characters, ‘Hem’ and ‘Haw’ and two mice, ‘Sniff’ and ‘Scurry’. The mice and humans pair up and eventually find lots of cheese (a symbol of happiness and success) at Cheese Station C. When the cheese runs out Sniff and Scurry head off to look for other cheese but the two humans stay behind getting grumpy with each other. Haw wants to look for more cheese but Hem finds his old routine comforting and he’s afraid to try anything different. All he wants is for the cheese to come back. Of course it doesn’t. Eventually Haw sees his own fear and writes on the wall, ‘what would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ Haw heads off and finds crumbs of cheese. He takes them back to Hem who (spoiler) refuses them. Eventually Haw finds a new supply of cheese. Then he hears a sound. Could it be Hem looking for cheese?
So… the call to action? Well I’m not brave, but this post is about me joining Haw in writing on the wall, ‘What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?’ I’ve got some thoughts and I’ll keep you posted as to what happens but I’m determined not to be in the same position by the three year anniversary of that original post. If I am then please feel free to hit me over the head with a very large round of Camembert.
But if I’m in this situation now then there must be others who are stuck too. Are you scared because someone has moved your cheese? Or do you see the signs that your cheese is running out and you don’t know what to do? Let me know in the comments below.
Maybe we can go cheese hunting together ?


Reference: 
Johnson, spencer, Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change In Your Work and In Your Life. New York : Putman, 1998. Print.

Check out the YouTube video 'Who Moved My Cheese?' https://youtu.be/16hxCB1Dvd4






Sue Jeffrey was born in Scotland but moved to Brisbane, Australia with her family when she was just a wee lass. After a childhood spent reading, drawing and accumulating stray animals, Sue studied veterinary science and later moved to Adelaide where she worked as both a vet and a pastor. After a sojourn of several years in the Australian Capital Territory, Sue returned to Adelaide with two dogs, a very nice husband, and a deep desire to write. Sue has a MA in creative writing and her short stories and poems have appeared in several anthologies including Tales of the Upper RoomSomething in the Blood: Vampire Stories With a Christian Bite, Glimpses of Light and A Chicken Can Make a Difference. Sue won the 'Short' category in the inaugural Tabor Adelaide/ Life FM 'Stories of Life' award and her e-book, 'Ruthless The Killer: A Short Story,' is available from Amazon.com. Sue also paints animal portraits
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24 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your funny yet challenging post Sue. Thank you. I've read the book you mention and yes - it was a great motivator. Totally understand the quandrary, because I've often been going round a similar health merry-go-round myself. Not an easy situation to say the least. And yet ... and yet ...God's got His hand on this too as He does on all our frustrations and challenges. In one sense I haven't moved in 12 years of fighting my own chronic illness but in a different way (and the way that matters) I've climbed mountains and waded through crocodile infested waters! :) At least that's what I think! And hope. Looking forward to hearing about the changes you have made and the amazing breakthrough that will follow. Keeping my ears tuned to it! Blessings to you, good health and happy writing.

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    1. Thanks Anusha. Onward and upward as they say :)

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    2. Aye - it is all the crocodile infested waters that we are wading through Anusha and Sue....and the mountains we have climbed. One of my helpers keeps telling me that if I was an Indonesian, I would have died long ago.....so, just being alive is a profound movement forward. I love how you write, the two of you. Patience is the key and what God wants to work in our lives....I'm just feeling like we haven't got there yet.....

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    3. Yes, Heather. Patience is needed indeed. Today God gave me a picture of roots growing underneath the surface of the ground. We may not see much change but a lot is going on.

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    4. Thanks so much Heather for your encouragement. Bless you. Yes, being still and waiting is very much a part of our 'aggressive' Christian walk (although that sounds a contradiction in terms!) I love it how God woos us into more intimacy with Him during these times of waiting and learning patience. That's an apt picture God gave you Sue and I say 'Amen' to it. God is always up to something and it is always something good. :)

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  2. Thanks for a honest, funny and thoughtful post. Will be praying as you consider all that God has for you and you step boldly into His future.

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  3. Thank you Sue.
    I loved that book....
    We have had BIG changes in our life this past twelve months. Moving from the southern suburbs of Sydney to the Southern Highlands, which has been wonderful, yet also has challenges. We have found a great church and are making delightful friends but my elderly parents are cross with me....so my 'cheese search' is about how to comfort them that I haven't moved to the moon only a couple of hours away!
    Looking forward to staying tuned for your next chapter!

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    1. Wow Dianne. That sure is a BIG change and not made easy because of your elderly parents and their needs. Well done to have survived it. :) I hope they will find it easier to accept in time. xox

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    2. Love ya Anusha....always the encourager ❣

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  4. So,so identify! Although I don't have health problems, there's no doubt the weight of years slows me down, frustrating many cherished dreams. But God! He's not finished working with and in us until we're translated in glory. Meanwhile, like the Jews of old, let's confess glory-filled expectation: 'next year, in Jerusalem!'

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    1. Yes. We need to keep our eyes on him and on his love and power!

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  5. Hi Sue, I'm sympathising and relating to your story. Nothing like that feeling of, 'Was that already x years ago? So what's changed?' Especially when we're none of us getting any younger. I enjoyed Who Moved my Cheese too, and look forward to the updates in your own story.

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  6. I loved this post and while I have not read the book, I kept thinking though, that if you are still in this same place a year from now, it might be because God isn't ready to deliver your gift yet. I have been thinking a lot about Sarah and Abraham lately. I really get where Sarah was coming from. When God gives us a promise we have to believe that He will deliver but what He doesn't give us is the 'where, when and the how'. He might give us one of these things or even two but not all of them. So, please don't be so hard on yourself, it is not up to you, it's up to God to answer yours and our prayers for you in His time and that might be ten years from now. He will however, faithfully give you the strength and courage to keep walking around and around that mountain for as long as He wants you to.

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    1. Yes, he is ever faithful. I don't know how people manage without him.

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  7. Really enjoyed reading this post, Sue--and will think about how it applies in my own life, for sure. But I honour you too for taking up your own challenge too and hope and pray you will be where you feel God wants you to be next time that post pops up on Facebook!

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    1. Thanks, Jo-Anne. God willing, I hope so too.

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  8. Thank you Sue, for this sad, funny, wonderful post. My heart goes out to you with empathy. I seem to be where I was two years ago too, and my cheese is fast running out. I also enjoyed reading that sweet book, one of the recommended readings when I was a patient at St John of God Hospital. I used to want to control everything, mostly out of fear. But lately I seem to leave too much up to God. I'm thinking I must find a better balance ... after all, He did give me free will, attitude, and determination, so I'm told. I'll be praying for you Sue that you either find some more cheese, or you retrieve the old cheese, polish it up, and move along. You know, a great big Pat of camembert wouldn't be so bad ❤(ӦvӦ。)

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    1. Haha. Yes, I quite like Camembert ;). As for the waiting/action dilemma, it can be tricky to discern what to do. I like the idea of active rest - where our peace is in God but we are still casting our bread upon the waters as per Ecclesiastes 11.

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  9. Yes, I remembered the book when you mentioned it... and I relate to seeing those memory things come up and have similar thoughts to yours.
    Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. Abraham and Sarah - yes they waited. So did king David. He had been anointed as king a long time before he actually became king. Even the Apostles... they didn't have it all together until many years later. Still, having said that - we are supposed to 'walk in faith' LOL
    Wishing you many blessing on your walk, and the eyes to see them. (Sometimes that is hard.)
    God bless and encourage you!

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  10. Thanks for sharing that honest post, Sue. I had a situation just recently when I thought, 'Ah, don't tell me this is coming up again!' But sometimes when we think nothing's changed, God can see it differently. Little changes in attitude. Little changes in relying on him. Little changes in the way we handle situations. Would be great to see those big breakthroughs though. Will pray there's a good avalanche in your life soon. And on another note, what a weird post for the Facebook robot to pick as a memory you'd like to share. But then it blessed all of us. Take care xx :)

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    1. Thanks, Nola. What Facebook intended for evil, God intended for good? Hehe. As I shared in another reply above, the Lord gave me a picture today of a large root system growing underground. You are spot on that even though we can't see much change there can be a lot going on. Onward and upward!

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