For Christmas, we were able to return to Iowa to be with our family there. It was a great break and was awesome to be with our family. I had lived in Iowa for almost 20 years before moving to Wisconsin and then down here to California. I had always heard jokes about how flat it was and how you could see for ever. I always compared it to Nebraska, which is flatter than a sheet of paper, and was able to see Iowa’s rolling hills and the contours that I was sure people missed. Now, after being in California for the last almost 6 years, this trip was the first time that I actually noticed the flatness of Iowa. It actually struck me as odd that I saw it as flat, something that never happened before. I was able to see how big and how long the sunset happened. I don’t ever remember taking notice of that while I lived there, but I had nothing to compare it too either. Now that I have been in California where we are surrounded by mountains, the sunset is a rather quick occurrence, unless you go out to the beach to watch it. I love driving around the highways here in California and seeing all of the mountains and views here. I hope I never lose that sense of awe at the sight of these mountains that I see everyday. What are we seeing everyday that we have become accustomed too that would normally strike us as wrong? On the other hand, what beautiful scenes, acts or experiences are we missing? Even when we notice what we have been missing through desensitization, do we even respond the same as if it was the first time?
We discussed in our last blog how being desensitized leads to lower standards in our lives and how this can have a snowball effect from generation to generation. So how do we get re-sensitized? Below are four ways that we can re-sensitize ourselves.
1 – Shine light on it – or draw attention to it.
Many times we get used to something until someone points it out and we notice it again. For instance, if you are sitting down, can you feel the seat on your back side? Did you notice this before I pointed it out? Because I brought attention to it, you now feel the chair. By the time you are done with this article, you won’t feel it again.
This is why we do what we do. Purity is fading fast in this world and we are trying to point it out so it isn’t lost. If we are able to shed light on issues that people have become accustomed to overlooking, then we can reach more people who will stand up for purity.
2 – Compare it to true white
I love the funny scene that is played out in hardware stores across America, with the couple standing there and the guy asks, “You want to paint it white?” And the woman responds, “It isn’t white, its eggshell.” If you just look at an “eggshell” painted wall, you would think it was white until someone held up a sheet of white paper. Then you would see the difference.
When it comes to purity, what we think are “eggshell white” tend to look more like a light tan when compared to true purity. What has happened? We didn’t keep comparing to the true white so as it darkened, we didn’t notice. By comparing things to a true standard, we too can see when something is out of the bounds of purity.
3 – Take a break
Just like me returning to Iowa after being away for awhile, sometimes we just need to be away from whatever it is in order reboot our sensitivity. My wife has started making bone broth. She cooks a whole chicken and other vegetables in a big pot for a couple of hours. She removes the meat from the chicken, places the bones back in the liquid and then cooks it for 24 more hours to extract all the nutrients from the bones. While I am here, I don’t notice any smell. But when I head out for a meeting and return, the smell greats me at the door like a big welcome home extravaganza and it smells so good. The longer the break, the more I can smell it upon return. Another example is fast food. I stopped eating a certain fast food chain over a decade ago. One day, I was with a friend who stopped to get some food at this place. I decided to have what used to be my normal. Before, I thought I felt better, had better energy and was doing well after eating that meal. This time, though, I was sluggish and did not feel better. Because of the break, I was able to see exactly how my body responded to the “food.”
By taking a break from violent movies or movies that have more skin than plot showing or anything else, upon return those images will stand out more to you and you will notice how you respond more to when watching them constantly.
4 – Get back to the basics
Vince Lombardi, the famed football coach for the Green Bay Packers has a famous quote where he says, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” This is how he started each pre-season. He would hold up the ball that these professional players have used most of their lives as he said it. He said this even on the years after they were the world champions. His point on doing so? To make sure the players got back to the basics. He didn’t care that they were the best at what they did, he didn’t want them to deviate from the basics.
We too can do this. By doing a "check-in" on a routine basis to see where our boundaries lie, we can make sure we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. Lombardi didn’t want over confidence to get in the way of accomplishment. We may think we are confident in keeping our boundaries, but in order to bring us back to them, and make sure we just haven’t become comfortable with them, we need to revisit the baseline.
Now, do you feel the chair you are sitting on, or did you forget about it already?
Rob and Jenna Crenshaw are founders of Crossroads Club