Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Reframing Experiences

Recently I had the privilege of running an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop. Great fun, great way to meet and get to know more people but very emotionally draining. When that was finished I had the pressure of catching up on all those other things I didn’t get done.  I said all the right things in the workshop about “self care” but maybe I have been slow to follow my own advice.

What I need to do is some wood turning! Some who have watched me do this would say all I create is a mess but my aim is to turn up something useful. It often starts out as a useless, discarded, old, rough bit of timber but ends up as a bowl, a paper roll holder or something else, which is smooth, beautiful and hopefully has a new role to play in life.

That is what life is all about, taking what has been given to us, even painful, negative experiences and using them to make something new and positive. That is what we teach in the ASIST course to help people who are suicidal, but it also applies to life in general. The trick is being able to step back far enough to put things in their proper perspective and reframe them. God is often able to do that for me through a simple wood turning project, what will do it for you?

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, don’t waste it being weighed down by things you can’t change. Stop and thank God for whatever has happened and move forward knowing that He has a super fantastic future for you, even if you can’t see it at the moment!

Chaplain Ian S Whitley