I recently took some time to pray about what God wanted for me. He cut quite a bit of stuff that I had stacked on myself. I was feeling free, light as a feather, and driven towards a clear purpose. Recently, I realized I had been down in the dumps for a while. It didn’t make sense. I always figured I struggled with the blues because I wasn’t in my calling. I have never been more sure that I am doing what God wants me to do in this season as I am now. So, why am I down in the dumps?
Firstly, I want to remove some of the sensational defaults we fall to when feeling down. This is not my “time in the desert.” This is not my “trial of Job.” We like to think that our negative feelings are an implication of some greater spiritual battle. I am not acting out some great story of the Bible.
If this is not some epic spiritual war, then what is it?
That’s it. Just me.
This has a been a difficult but not surprising revelation. The difficult part was the realization that stepping into my calling didn’t mean I was free and clear. I thought it would be like the moving sidewalk at the airport. Where I would have to do some work to get to that point, but when I got there, I’d be able to relax and just let the ground under my feet move me. The thing about freedom is that it never goes away. God cannot start us free and then we “surrender our will” and He just “takes the wheel.” We are free for all time, which means we have to work at all times. The toil will disappear, as it does when dragging a family’s worth of luggage to the sweet respite of the moving sidewalk. But, the work doesn’t stop, just like the moving sidewalk is not the destination I intended when I drove to the airport.
The part that was not surprising to me was how I was the source of my unhappiness. I learned in my health journey that breaking promises to myself is how we lose confidence and gain shame. I looked back at my time since I received my calling and I had kept some promises, but dropped others. I am not the type of person that can push and pull, or give and take. I have to be all on all the time. Once I take my foot off the pedal, I tend to shame myself. So, even though I was I was thriving in my writing, I was struggling in my diet. I was in my calling, doing what God wanted and I was unhappy because I was shaming myself for a different area of my life.
This is the difficult piece of being a fully mature Christian. You cannot develop just one part of your life. You may have to work on them one at a time, but you cannot stop at just one. God has called us to mature in every way. If I’m being honest with you, its hard. I was really hoping for a moving sidewalk, a respite from responsibility. That’s the thinking of a child though. A full grown man (or woman) knows that bearing responsibility is what makes our lives meaningful. Responsibility is the straight and narrow. Shirking responsibility is the broad and easy path, and we know where that leads.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.