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!:::::