A self-help approach to identifying and slaying your dragons …

Have you ever had a recurring dream?

When I was a boy, I used to dream that a monster had broken into the house. Fortunately for all of us (my parents and seven — yes, seven! — siblings), the monster wasn’t very fast, so everyone was able to safely evacuate the house … except for me. Like the monster, for some reason I seemed to move in slow-motion. I would strain to run but my legs felt like lead. The best I could ever do was make it to a large basket of laundry and hide under the clothes.

That’s as far as the dream ever lasted. I was never able to outrun the monster. Fortunately, it was just a dream!

In real life, you can’t outrun your problems, either.

John Angst tells a rather funny story about a man who tried to outrun one of his problems. In most of the United States there is a policy of checking on any vehicle stalled on the highway when temperatures drop to single digits or below. About 3 a.m. one very cold morning, Montana State Trooper Allan Nixon responded to call about a car that was off the shoulder of the road outside Great Falls, Montana. He located the car and found it was stuck in deep snow but with the engine still running.

Pulling in behind the car with his emergency lights flashing, the trooper walked to the driver’s door to find an older man passed out behind the wheel with a nearly empty vodka bottle on the seat beside him. The driver woke up when the trooper tapped on the window. Seeing the rotating lights in his rear view mirror, and the state trooper standing next to his car, the man panicked. He jerked the gearshift into drive and floored the gas pedal.

The car’s speedometer was showing 20, 30, 40, and then 50 miles per hour, but it was still stuck in the snow, wheels spinning. The trooper having a sense of humor, began running in place next to the speeding (but stationary) car. The driver totally freaked out, thinking the trooper was actually keeping up with him. This went on for another 30 seconds before the trooper yelled, “Pull over!” The man nodded, turned his wheel, and stopped the engine. Needless to say, the man from North Dakota was arrested and is probably still shaking his head over the state trooper in Montana who could run 50 miles per hour.

You can’t outrun your problems!

So why not face them head-on and do something about them?

Let me offer you a self-help approach to identifying the problems in your life, and figuring out what you can do about them. John Hendee has written a book called, “A Dragon Slayer’s Life” (you can read my original review of the book here) which does an effective job at helping us understand that we all have “dragons” (like my monster!) in our lives, that it actually was ourselves who made those dragons, that we can’t outrun them, and we are the only ones who can slay them!

If you want to approach digging deeper into your life alone, that’s a choice you can make. But let me suggest you consider forming your own small “dragon slayer” group. You can commit to meeting together regularly just for the rest of this year. You can read the book individually, then meet to discuss what you’re learning, help each other identify the dragons in your lives, and then support one another as you take on the task of slaying your dragons. This will provide you with people who will support, encourage, and challenge you as you face the dragons in your life, and work to rid yourself of them. At the end of the year, you can throw a party in December to celebrate what you’ve accomplished, or discuss what work you still have ahead of you if you don’t finish the year “dragon-free.”

Of course, when I refer to anything being of a “self-help” nature, I certainly mean your taking action with the guidance of the Lord and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Your dragon slayer’s group can pray together, seek biblical instruction together, and provide Christian fellowship as you work together toward slaying your dragons.

You can purchase “A Dragon Slayer’s Life” from Amazon-Kindle or order a hard copy at this link http://tinyurl.com/ll34e67. If you decide to take on slaying your dragons this year, whether alone or with a group, I’d welcome a chance to hear about your efforts!