Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

Want More than “Awesome” from Monday’s Eclipse? Try This.


This picture shows me enjoying Monday’s TOTAL solar eclipse with husband Charlie and others not shown.  Everyone present marveled to see the sun hidden by the moon’s silhouette and experience midday darkness.

We all said “Awesome!” Later I heard countless individuals on TV describe the event as “Awesome!” I didn’t hear many other descriptors. Last night over dinner a friend asked, “Wasn’t that awesome?”

The truly awesome eclipse:

  • provided a rare, unique experience
  • brought people together
  • showcased God’s glorious and predictable creation

I wish I could say “awesome” and move on, but the English teacher in me compulsively looks for symbolism and meaning in practically everything. I wanted more than awe from the eclipse. I wanted take-away meaning.

So, early on eclipse day I started comparing the bright sun to the joy and vitality God wants to shine into my life. I also thought about things that block God’s light.

7 Obstacles to Joy

I considered 7 obstacles that sometimes dim God’s light in my life. As you read through the list, ask yourself if any of these steal joy from you.

  • Busyness

Today’s abundant opportunities make it easy to overload your plate. Is your plate too full?

Joy comes from healthy relationships that take time. Do you spend sufficient time with God, others and self? If not, reset your priorities and purge.

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. (Luke 5:16)

  • Controlling People

Do you captain your own ship? You must to feel joy. Adult relationships call for shared power, but if someone wants power over you, set limits. For help, read Boundaries.

We are unique individuals with unique gifts. Do not let others tell you who you are. Seek guidance from God.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…(Ephesians 2:10)

  •  Fear

Do you have a dream, hope or vision that remains unfulfilled because you lack confidence? The Bible warns against avoiding risk in the parable of the ten talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

If you feel afraid to pursue some God-given dream, find someone who can help you move forward. Two are definitely better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9).

  • Ambition

Success does not guarantee joy. Click here to see a list of successful people who battle depression. Joy comes from right relationships and meaningful work.

If you’re driving hard to reach some worldly marker of success, stop and take a breath. Consider carrying less on your shoulders. Let God lead you to a balanced life beside still waters.

Cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

  • Anger

Grudges block light. You’ve heard that refusing to forgive is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Anger damages health. Good health depends on forgiveness.

Jesus tells us to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22). Paul urges us to leave what lies behind (Philippians 3:13).

  • Addiction

Controlling behaviors steal joy. Affluent lifestyles afford many pleasures. It takes real intentionality to avoid getting hooked on something.

We know that addiction to toxic things like drugs, alcohol and pornography destroy life. Over dependence on seemingly good things like TV, social media, video games, smart phones, food, shopping, power, prestige, attention, fiction, cars, sports, sex, money, fashion  and exercise can also keep us from living balanced lives.

If you’re addicted, pull away. If you can’t, get help. Just get free.

…whose god is their appetite (Philippians 3:19)

  • Disappointment

Losses and setbacks temp us to doubt God and turn from His light. Doing so deepens despair. We need God’s light most when circumstances darken our world.

Turn to God and His people when life gets hard. His light shines through clouds. Paul (Romans 5:3) and James (James 1:2) describe knowing joy despite afflictions. For help with this, read When God Doesn’t Make Sense.

Now What?

The awesome eclipse has come and gone. The event led me to think about light-blocking obstacles in my life. Everything on that list troubles me from time to time. With God’s help I want to minimize these blocks.

What about you? Did you find a personal light blocker in this list? More than one? Can you think of others? What steps could you take to allow more of God’s light into your life?

Consider sharing this post with someone you know well. Compare notes with each other. Take turns providing one another with feedback.

Let me know what you think. I always like to hear from you.















About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

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