Can you survive anything if you can find meaning in what is happening to you?
In years gone by I used to run Before and After school programs. These were commercial programs. For children whose parent or parents needed child care before and after school, usually, so they could work. They were run by the council. So it was not a Christian program as such but I hope the work I did there was.
The message of hope was often so lacking in some of these children’s lives. I have some stories or two that I could tell you and maybe I will but not today.
Except to say, that I’ve never understood why more churches don’t run these programs. They’re an unbelievable place for ministry.
One time I got myself into trouble with my council liaison officer who funded us.
My Problem With Psychiatrists
I had heard about a Psychiatrist who was coming to town to speak at some public meetings. Now I don’t always have a lot of time for Psychiatrists as a rule. They have a lot of good information but it is far too often the basis of what I consider a new religion for me to be comfortable with most of them.
I remember as a young person being perplexed by the need of my church elders to have had a Psychiatrist say something and because it came from a Psychiatrist then “it must be true”, so they desperately spent time trying to make scripture fit. The possibility of a Psychiatrist being wrong never entered their head. Something that unfortunately still happens today.
Nevertheless, this Psychiatrist was bought out by the catholic church and his topic was hope. This was interesting because I had heard that he had been in a concentration camp during the war.
Being too much for me to pass up, I bought tickets for my staff and me, under the auspices of training. This seemed perfectly reasonable to me as we were supposed to have a training budget and I could think of no better form of training.
Apparently, my liaison officer didn’t agree. I was hauled over the coals. Not that that bothered me as my job was way more secure than a coal hauling. And the tickets were already bought, so what were they going to do?
You Can Survive Almost Anything If You Can Find Meaning
The Psychiatrist’s name was Viktor Frankl. He was a Jew but was brought out by the catholic church which made it just that little bit more interesting.
If ever you get the chance to read any of Viktor Frankl books I recommend you do. He is credited with having established the third school of Psychiatry (one being Freud and I have no idea of the second, possibly Jung).
Indeed he had been in concentration camps and came out of it with something that, as Christians, we must accept as profound. He discovered and based his whole Psychiatric theory on the premise that you can survive anything if you can find meaning in what is happening to you!
Now isn’t that a reason to tell the world about Jesus?