So I've been working through the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. On Goodreads there is a group that reads one book every month. This month we are reading "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich." While I was reading this morning a line from the novel hit me smack in the face:
"A convict's thoughts are no freer than he is: they come back to the same place, worry over the same thing continually."
I thought about this a lot. Well, at least 20 minutes or so. And I know that I am a prisoner to myself sometimes. Taking the thought backwards - my thoughts worry over the same thing continually, I find myself going back to the same thought again and again. Does that make me a prisoner?
I know that it does at least part of the time. For instance, I am constantly aware of my weight. If it shifts I feel it, I am ever aware of how my body feels against my clothes. And I hate it. I have gained some weight with my medicines over the years and I feel completely out of control to do anything about it sometimes.
These thoughts come to me sometimes hourly. But what is it doing? Secular and non secular alike would agree that a person is not his mere physical make up. But by many definitions I am obsessed with my appearance.
In the Christian world, I know that this should not haunt me the way it does. It makes me a prisoner to my physical body, which (thank God) I will not have with me forever. If I focus on the things of God, whatever is true, whatever is holy, what is good, these battles will not come back to me every time I shift in my seat. I will not worry about what I have to do or how sick I feel because I know these things will all pass away.