Riseaboveability: Do You Have It?

Rick Mattson Devotion 2 Comments

I don’t often write devotional blogs. But the topic of elevating ourselves above the fray of life’s troubles seems important enough to make an exception.

I call it riseaboveability.

College students don’t have it, much. And I’m afraid I don’t model it for them very well. They rise and fall according to the latest fortunes of class assignments, GPA volatility, friendships good and bad, parents’ approval (or lack), and so on.

See my prior post for thoughts on their overall mental health.

Riseaboveability is forged in prayer. Some days, I have joy no matter how crappy my life. And of course for me, life is mostly happy, not crappy, what with the blessings of family and job and good health.

But having things go your way, as they often do for me, is the easy way to happiness, a kind of cheap cheer.

In contrast, my friend R lost a close relative to Alzheimer’s. I hung out with R recently at a dinner party. The pain and scarring were there, yes, but the joy of the Lord seemed irrepressible in R’s countenance.

My other friend, E, is battling ALS. E motored around inside a Chipotle restaurant one day, joking with kids and spouse and me from a high-tech wheelchair. Mingled with the sadness and frustration of a failing and uncooperative body was . . . E’s divine joy — a blessing that knocked me over.

Henry Nouwen, in his book, The Way of the Heart, talks about a portable chamber of prayer in the hearts of believers. And anytime we wish, we can descend into the chamber for a meeting with the Lord, face to face.

Here, the soul is restored, courage instilled.

“Riseaboveability” is thus unexpectedly made possible.

Image by pixel2013 from Pixabay

Comments 2

  1. I find your thoughts very interesting as I am sort of on the other end of this spectrum as I teach preschool children. We are seeing a rise in behaviors of preschool children. There’s probably a variety of reasons, but added into that mix is the whole Christianity factor is an interesting thought for me.

    1. Post

      Shirley, I defer to you on child development. In any case, something isn’t right out there. Kids come to college suffering from anxiety — and worse. College has always been tough. Every student is stressed out at one time or another. But in recent years students seem more fragile than ever.

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