Let's end dead-end thinking

Exit the cave of discouragement into the light of Christ.

Thinking that sinks into fear, discouragement, cynicism, hopelessness, tends to end in defeat. It's what I call dead-end thinking, and it's not surprising that a visit to a cave would trigger some serious thoughts about dead ends. A visit to what has come to be known as St. Peter's Cave in Antakya, Turkey, caused me to remember the remarkable progress gained when negative thinking is replaced with spiritual enlightenment.

The cave nestles on a hillside overlooking the ancient city of Antioch, where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians (see Acts 11:26). Goats now scramble over the rocky slope or rest in the shade of olive trees, but early Christians such as Peter, Paul, and Barnabas are said to have sought refuge in places like these in order to continue their work. The persecution of Christians in those times was severe, and they must have been sorely tempted to be afraid and discouraged. But they had learned from Christ Jesus the power of spiritually disciplined thinking. Their works and writings as recorded in the New Testament show that dark, dead-end caves were not symbolic of their enlightened thinking.

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Out of heartbreak, into joy
January 19, 1998
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