Me: (My 18year old daughter calls my cell phone while I’m at work) Hello?
Daughter: Hey, are you okay? Breaking news just interrupted my show; there’s a shooting near your work.
Me: Really? I’ve not heard anything, and we normally do (I work downtown).
Daughter: Yup, it’s on right now, and says it’s near your work. I just wanted to call and make sure you were okay. Love you.
Me: Love you too.
I go next door and mention this to my co-worker, who promptly begins searching the news for more information. I work at a child care center located downtown: if there is an active shooter in the area, our school goes on lock down. My coworker’s concerned look became puzzled when she couldn’t find any news about it. Once I got home, I asked my daughter if there were any updates on the shooting.
Daughter: Yeah……about that…..Breaking news DID interrupt my show today, but then I realized I was watching an old recording of Dr. Phil.
We had a good laugh, and I couldn’t wait to get back to tell my coworker. I loved, and appreciated the concern my daughter had for me, but the truth was: she had gotten worked up over something that happened weeks ago, if not a couple of months ago. The emergency was long over. The immediate crisis had been handled, and was now under control.
We’ve all experienced hurts in our life, right? Well, some impact us more than others. There was one particular hurt that cut me deep, and I wept and grieved over it. Days passed, and it was all I could think about. Weeks passed, and it was all I could think about. Months passed, and this situation would randomly stab my thoughts, causing a twinge of pain. Though the matter had been dealt with, prayed over and forgiveness given, those hurtful moments were still camping out in my mind. It was old news!! Yet, the recording of my hurt would replay MY breaking news over and over.
This continued to happen on and off for months. It begin to make me mad: to have my thoughts invaded with old news as if it had just happened. Every time I thought I had moved on: BOOM! Replay! And the truth is, sometimes I would entertain the flash back of “breaking news,” even though it ripped the bandage right off my wounded heart. Re-living those moments made my anger and hurt fresh, even though it was old news that had already been dealt with.
One day, after another unauthorized replay of old news: I heard something in my spirit that even *I* thought was odd. It was something I’d never heard before: only a dog goes back to his vomit. Wait, what?? Is that a scripture? I looked it up, and much to my surprise…..I found it was a scripture that appears only twice in the entire Bible.
Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”
2 Peter 2:22 “They prove the truth of this proverb: A dog returns to its vomit. And another says, A washed pig returns to the mud.”
The light bulb finally clicked on: if my hurt didn’t go down good the first time, why would I keep returning to it over and over the same way a dog returns to his vomit? God was showing me that replaying those hurtful events that were already dealt with, was foolish! A waste of His time and mine.
I had washed my mind in forgiveness and prayer only to make it dirty again with unhealthy thoughts about those that hurt me. God wanted me to stop responding to old news!!! It was over! I needed to let it go.
This wasn’t the first significant hurt I had experienced, and it may not be the last. But I have learned a valuable lesson. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” Philippians: 4:8 .