Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hijackers and Hostages

The title looks ominous, but I hasten to assure you that all seven of us are well and accounted for. Good. Moving on.

Hijackers and hostages are not merely the property of the Middle East. And they do not necessarily come in human form. Haven't you ever been hijacked by a thought? Multiple thoughts? If you think the answer is no, think back to the last time you said prayers. Mm hmm, that's what I thought.

Last night I was hijacked by multiple thoughts, occurring on multiple occasions. The result is my late rising this morning. I was reading the OT reading and suddenly wondered if I had enough medication to last me through the entire trip [We're heading to PA next week.]. I told myself I would check when I was done. Fast forward several minutes to the parable of the wedding feast. I felt fairly sure I didn't have enough and probably needed to order some in the morning. Fast forward another few minutes to Paul's arrest in Jerusalem and you'll find me thinking that if I order in the morning it might not get here before we leave. The end result was that I got up, turned the computer back on and ordered it, and didn't concentrate very much on the readings.

I was wound up ("If I almost forgot that, what else important might I be forgetting???") so I read for a while, a biography of Katherine Porter which turned out not to be good bedtime reading (a very dissolute life). When I made the executive decision to turn the lamp out I lay there for a while, playing anagrams in my head to fall asleep. Hey, to each his own.

I woke up about 5:30 to almost continuous lighting. Staggering out of bed I went to unplug the computer, but before I did that I checked the radar. [Rule: never look at bright lights if you're intending to go right back to bed.] After I went back to bed (strangely awake) I started compulsively counting the seconds between flash and thunder. ("Is it moving away? Getting closer? Is that from the first wave or second wave?") I fell asleep eventually but didn't get up at 6:30 as planned. It was 8:00. So much for getting up early.

This is where the hostage comes in. I had allowed myself to be repeatedly hijacked all night and I could have let the hijackers hold me hostage for the rest of the day. After all, I got up late, the day is gone, there's no point in trying, I'll never catch up...etc. This is where force of will enters with banners flying (I'm not sure how this works metaphorically but it's a good image.). I said "boo!" to the hijackers, got up, washed up, got dressed and started homeschool. I put on my "energetic face" and pretended that I was right on track. Hey, I might just get on track at some point here!

So don't let your hijackers hold you hostage. Fight back! They only win if you let them.


  1. Wow! Great post. I'm hijacked and held hostage all day. And most of the time, the thought is, "You're not mothering well enough!" But if I can honestly say I'm doing my best, I should be happy with my performance!!

  2. That' right. There are lots of hijacking thoughts that can hold us hostage! Not being a good enough parent is a big one. It usually involves not measuring up in some way. But if you're doing your best (or admit that, hey, that wasn't exactly my best work but I'm going to get up and try better), then there's no reason to be held hostage.

  3. I have definitely had times like that, especially before a big trip or before a baby is born. When I was pregnant with Spunky, I used to lie in bed all night just thinking and thinking. It was frustrating. I'm glad you were able to put on a happy face and go on with your day :)

  4. I agree, it happens to me too. Lord have Mercy.

  5. I love the term, "hijaker". Next time this happens to me -- and I'm sure it won't be long now -- I'll use that term to remind myself how to handle those thoughts!

  6. This was very helpful.
    It's generally easy to always accept our thoughts as "our own" and forget that we have an enemy who "throws" them at us...


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