Friday, November 16, 2012

Zapping a Spiritual Slump


This isn't the first time I've experienced a spiritual slump, but it might be the only time I've given it free rein for several months. Usually, neglecting my spirituality becomes so uncomfortable that I'm driven to my knees and the whole thing takes care of itself. This go-round, though, I seem to have stuck my lukewarm spiritual pot on the back burner and let it simmer a while. Not good!

Perhaps the daily drama of presidential politics contributed to my lack of spiritual upkeep this year, or maybe the distraction of a newly-retired husband obscured that niggling feeling of drifting too far from the active pursuit of faith that lifts and anchors me. Even my writing––most often used with the divine in mind and completely dependent upon spiritual gifts––appears to have taken an illogical front seat to daily, meaningful connection with the Lord. Let's face it. My muse has been more secular than sacred in recent months, which is probably more consequence than coincidence. Not that there is anything wrong with secular themes (they interest me!) but that the imbalance undoubtedly reflects where my treasure lies lately.

One would think, with my everyday life as a bishop's wife being awash in the trappings of gospel living, that I would somehow absorb what I need by osmosis, but life has proven to me again and again that this is not the case. The Spirit is truly a gift, and if you don't use (and/or consciously pursue) it, you lose it. At least, I do. And hanging out in its general vicinity doesn't quite do the trick, either. In fact, getting ready to celebrate Christ's birth in December and focusing on Thanksgiving this month has made me realize I've been doing little more than going through the motions of late...and sometimes, not even that. Just last week I made a couple of decisions that were more worldly than wise, and I'm still feeling the repercussions of those uninspired choices. The little things really are the big things at times, and sacrifice and service do bring more lasting joy than selfish pursuits. Of this, I am certain.

I hope you'll forgive my thinking out loud about matters so personal, but introspection by way of blogging (BWOB, ha) does me a world of good...and I suspect others might relate to a few of these thoughts as well. Sooner or later, we all get "caught up in the thick of thin things." But thin things never satisfy for long, which is why I always wonder––once I look up from each recurring episode of busy-ness and self-involvement––how I could ever have become complacent about something so crucial to my happiness as the discipline of setting aside ample time every day for thoughtful prayer, purposeful scripture study, and the stillness required for more than superficial communion with God. How easy it is to look past the Source of all things that really matter and rely upon a few things that really don't matter at all, losing sight of the best parts of myself in the process.

Of course, it's entirely up to me to reclaim those best parts, and the Lord (thankfully) humbles His children with enough regularity to make that attractive, even necessary. After all, who likes being miserable? Not I. Gratitude is a good beginning, one that goes hand-in-hand with a desire to serve, which is where I will focus my attention in the coming weeks. Being grinchy and grateful at the same time is impossible, so I intend to get my grateful on, get my stillness on, and enjoy the holidays in the spirit they deserve!

And that's a wrap. :::::ZAP!:::::
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=)

24 comments:

Katie Blacker said...

Beautifully written. I too have been thinking and feeling similar. After a big trial(s), when things calm down, it is amazing how soon I forget to get on my knees and keep up that most important relationship with the heavens.

thanks for the reminder!

Terra said...

Thanks for the reminder to get my gratitude on and get my stillness on. We can all go deeper. And BWOB is funny. I am sure you will change your direction back home to the deep waters.

Lola said...

I always enjoy catching your thoughts BWOB!

Another lovely reflective post, this time for *Z*!

Janie said...

Beautifully written!

Joyful Noise said...

It amazes me how often you express everything that is in my head. We could be twins! I have a daughter that now lives in the bay area. If you would ever like to meet and go out to lunch I would love to make the trip. : )

Brian Miller said...

actually the time in my life that i struggled the most was when i was in ministry....doing the work of and making excuses as if that was feeding me....

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Good for you for 'thinking out loud' ~ sometimes we need to do that ~ What helps me when my muse and spirit seem to have vacated the premises is to remember 'rests' are all part of the musical composition' and so in life ~Also during 'transitional times in life ~ I need respite ~ thanks for coming by and commenting ~ CArol (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Leovi said...

I hope that recession becomes a spiritual resurrection. There are bad times, but end up going.

Momza said...

Sounds like life to me...just like the song says. Ebbs and flows and ebbs and flows...holding a good thought for you today!

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

I find myself enjoying your thoughts and feelings in my areas, and admire your strength in faith.

I've got to get on my knees more often!

Ames said...

That's why I say never say never. Had egg on my face a few times taking things back. Sometimes we forget to step back and look at the big picture, makes even the smallest trials minuscule.~Ames

jen said...

As you commented on my blogging post, I echo your statement: I could have written this post. It's harder to be a bishop's wife than I thought. And osmosis only works for cells, not spirits.

If you find the way out, give me a jingle. I've been wallowing for a while myself.

Hugs, my friend.

Annmarie Pipa said...

I think everyone has "slumps" you are listening to him calling you back....what a blessing!

Stacy Crawford said...

I find myself being able to write this post too. I'm wondering why this is plaguing so many.

I have been grinchy for awhile now and have just realized in the last week or so, that all I want to do is to serve the Lord.

I like the "thick of the thin." This will be very helpful in my ponderings.

Thank you for such insight. I wish we could bouy each other up personally.

Good luck zapping! :)

Gattina said...

Having a newly retired husband at home, is a big change in a wife's life ! It takes some time to get used ...

Grandma Honey said...

I appreciate your honesty. You have been through a major life change with the retirement and all. As much as you adore your husband, and I know you do, you have lost some of your quiet reflective time. Plus there are just so many other emotions that go along with this time of our lives.

I've missed your daily posts, but I'm always happy when I see your name come across my Reader list.

Farmer's Wyfe said...

Thanks for this. I have been contemplating the same thing. Asking the Lord what He wants for me in this life and trying to let go of some of the things that have taken me from Him of late. It's good to know that even the Bishop's wife has these times of refocusing as well. :)

Darlene said...

You are so right Sue. I think that is why I have felt so depressed the past few weeks. The old expression "If you don't use it, you lose it" is right on the button. That goes with the Spirit too. I too need to get more spiritual too. I need God's spirit with me daily, and if I don't search for it when it is lacking, I will never get it back. This was such a good post for me today. I am going to try to set up a regular time for reading scriptures and pondering them. We used to do it at lunch time and then we stopped when Dick got a little too involved with Fox News. Now I think we will try to do it first thing in the morning and see if that doesn't awaken us, in more than one way. Thanks hon for the little push....

Scudds Harrison said...

A very good writer that caught my heart. Thanks for the beautiful words.

Scudds

EG CameraGirl said...

Well, Sue, I think it's impossible for anyone to feel "UP" all the time. You are likely on the verge of a new awakening in your spiritual life. This is likely the storm before the calm, so to speak.

yaya said...

When I get into my funks I always get the usual questions: How's prayer going? How's scripture study?, you know the drill. It's always the simple tasks that get me! Hope all is better soon and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think we all go through period like this! I love that you shared your heart in this post.

Em said...

I always go through a lull after I have a baby, but this time has taken a lot longer to get back into it again. Slowly but surely I'm making my way back. I really appreciate your honesty, bc it's good to see that other people have an ebb and flow too:)

Jenny said...

Awww. Miss Sue.

Bless you, my friend.

Slumps are such a part of life, but it would be cool if we didn't have the, wouldn't it?

Or would it?

Would we appreciate the non-slumps then as much?

I don't know.

It's been a slumpy year for me, too.

But visiting you always helps!

Thanks for zis thought provoking wrap up for Alphabe-Thursday.

Hugs and A+++++++++++++++++++++++

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