Summary: First lesson details some surprising people who had dealt with the issue of depression, including Buzz Aldrin and Charles Spurgeon. The second lesson uses the Olympic sport of curling to cross-compare to Christ, the solid rock in which we stand.
A Midwest lawyer was suffering from such a dark period of depression that his friends thought it would be best to remove all razors and sharp objects from his home. He spent hourless nights questioning life’s calling and seemed that every attempt he had at success was thwarted with either another lawsuit or a miserable election run failure. He wrote “I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not.” But somehow Abraham Lincoln gathered enough inner strength to continue and eventually become one of the greatest presidents in American history.
Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. He also flew 66 combat missions over the jungles of the Korean War where his Sabre shot down two MiG 15 airplanes. A 1953 issue of Life Magazine featured a Polaroid he shot of a Russian ejecting from a damaged ship. To say this man is cool and calm under pressure is an understatement. And he also battled depression. This holy man who is a church elder of Webster Presbyterian Church, who administered communion to his fellow astronauts while on the moon, also was given to bouts of emotionally unstability.
Most theologians of history account Charles Spurgeon as the most significant modern pastor in the history of mankind. Our own interim head pastor at First Baptist Church of Lake St. Louis Jim Wheeler was loosely quoted a couple of weeks ago that “Spurgeon has probably forgotten more about the Bible than I have ever learned.” And I can tell you that Pastor Wheeler knows a lot! But in a biography called “Prince of Preachers” written about Spurgeon, the author states that Spurgeon “suffered in those times of darkness, we may not know…even his desperate calling on God brought no relief.” The author goes on to call those times “castles of despair.”
So why do I bring this up? I believe that in this upcoming era of recession, that we are going to have more and more people having feelings of being depressed. With the Dow Jones crashing, a severe energy crisis looming, a war in Iraq continuing, and food prices skyrocketing, people are going to hurt. It’s times like these that the prophet Jonah shouted out the words “I am angry enough to die” in chapter 4 verse 9. And that was spoken AFTER thousands of people just re-committed their lives to living right.
I do not know all the questions that are circulating through the hearts and minds of people reading this right now. But I do know the answer. The answer is Hope. And that hope comes from Jesus. Proverbs 23:17-18 states “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but rather be zealous in fearing the LORD all the time. For surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” If you’re hurting, I suggest to put Him first.
The name is blue hone granite—it’s a specialty rock found on a deserted 104 acre island off of the west coast of Scotland. It is also the same rock used for the sport of curling—which has been met with massive fanfare during these Olympic Games. To be honest, the idea of a multiple-player shuffleboard on ice being played before 5000 screaming fans that are so rowdy they’ve been known to halt entire contests, well the idea never really crossed my mind. But despite being played in a frozen arena—the sport is currently red hot.