Do We Build our Own Dragons Sometimes? Part I (for MKL)

15 Oct

I cringe when I remember it now.  

I was sixteen years old.  My whole school day was being ruined by the fact I had broken a nail and its jagged edges were catching on everything.  I didn’t have any repair supplies.  Nor did my best friend at the time.

But . . . as I went on complaining about my nail, my best friend stopped me in my tracks.  She asked me whether I thought my broken nail warranted the attention it was getting, especially in comparison to the fact that she had recently been removed from her home due to sexual abuse and was living with the family of one of our female teachers.  


As I recall it, her very words were, “Please don’t expect me to care so much about your nail.”

Sometimes people say things to us that are lifechanging!

Life is full of conflict and challenges.  No disputing that.

But the wise ones among us can prioritize them and realize when we are only looking at a minor challenge!

It is becoming apparent to me that the wise ones among us also can tell when someone is manufacturing a fictional crisis. Sometimes the person doing that is us!!!  Age does seem to convey some wisdom in this area so we can learn to recognize ourselves in this script!  

What do I mean?

It would be a situation where we very much make a mountain out of a molehill.  Without trying to mix metaphors, I will call that “building a dragon.” 

You see, life has enough mountains to conquer and dragons to slay.  If we are building dragons, we are putting energy into dispatching enemies we don’t actually have.  And, the way God has designed the universe, we will probably actually need that energy we are wasting.  We will need it for a real crisis later. 

An example of building a dragon is that I can do that when talking about driving in our East Coast traffic.  I have actually only had two traffic accidents in 55 years.  I am a very cautious driver (read:  OCD) so that may be part of it.  

But there are minor things here and there that I can choose to escalate to major things.  I can come into the office and make it sound as though I narrowly escaped death on the way to work every single morning.  Because every single morning at least one foolish thing happens near me on the road.  Sometimes I am the one who did it!!!

See what I mean?  By exaggerating or emphasizing different aspects of a story, we can make the story from a mundane account into a whiteknuckle account.  The same story!

And sometimes it is fun to do that, when everyone knows it is an exaggeration.

But my idea is that many times we believe our own exaggerated account, and we influence others around us to believe it.

We then think situations exist in our lives that really do not.

Depending on the situation, we also might think we have enemies when we do not.  

We all write scripts with ourselves at the center of the universe.  Human nature is like that.

But my series on building dragons will be exploring that part of us and challenging us to speak the truth to ourselves and to others . . . 



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