A quote from Alice in Wonderland came to mind yesterday, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I decided to check the accuracy of my quote, and discovered that the way I remembered it must have been from a cartoon or movie. Here is how the quote appears in the original book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 1:
‘Come, there’s no use in crying like that!’ said Alice to herself, rather sharply; ‘I advise you to leave off this minute!’ She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it). . .
The more this quote kept coming to mind as “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it,” I wondered why I couldn’t let it got and decided there must be a blog post in it somewhere.
That is when I realized that I have not been following my own good advice lately, and I have been feeling a bit blue as a result. I decided that for My Tuesday Three I would share three pieces of advice that I have given to myself and to my blog readers, but that I have not been following of late.
I suppose this post is really more for me than for all of you, to get me back on track and perhaps following my advice (which is really Jesus’ advice). But perhaps it will help someone else to see how good advice not followed is no use at all. It certainly got Alice into trouble, and so let this be a reminder to us all to follow good advice lest we get lost down a rabbit hole full of totally nutty creatures.
The first piece of advice that I have not been following is to regularly read and memorize scripture. Of course, I have my favorites that are memorized, and I at least read a Psalm every week when I post one for Psalm Sunday. But I am way behind in my Bible-in-a-year schedule. I know I should set aside at least 15 to 30 minutes a day to read my Bible, but I get distracted by other things and it is hard to find a quiet place to read. I try to read when I crawl in bed at night, but my eyes get droopy and I don’t get very far. Besides, that kind of reading isn’t very conducive to really meditating on and soaking in scripture.
The second piece of advice that I have not been following is to forgive others, especially the little everyday annoyances. Various people have been annoying me lately (I won’t name any names), and I’ve been hanging onto that annoyance instead of forgiving and letting it go. I’m familiar with Jesus’ teaching on dealing with a fellow Christian who has sinned against you and the parable of the unmerciful servant. See Matthew 18:15-35 (NIV). But I haven’t always been doing as Jesus commanded. I know holding a grudge is what fueled my major depression, and is probably what is making me feel blue lately.
The third piece of advice that I have not been following is to listen to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 (NIV). I’ve been hearing His voice lately, reminding me to spend more time in scripture, to forgive, to not be anxious about things, and to put on the whole armor of God. But I haven’t been heeding His voice. I’ve sort of been saying, “Yeah, yeah, I know,” in that tone you usually only get from teenagers and hate to hear.
On the positive side, however, I have maintained my regular prayer time, and that connection with God is the thing that has been keeping my head above water. If only I would follow my own good advice on these other habits, I’d be walking on water – just like Peter.