Late Night Meditation

I find that placing pictures on the page before I write gives me greater incentive and helps with the writer's block.  I know someone mentioned something about that in one of my short lived Ed. classes ... or maybe Dr. Philips from Christian Ministries related it in "Teaching Methods". Whatever the explanation is, it works quite well, and I desperately need one at this late hour. 

Please just take a moment to think about the cycles of your life.  Instantly I recall the neverending cycle of spiritual growth and stagnant deadness, freedom and faith to worry and strife.  Strife.  What a word.  From Middle English to Old French to Germanic, "strife" and "strive" share a common root - to quarrel, to combat, to contend.  Many a day I have woken up and thought, "What in the world am I striving for?"  Its a terrible feeling to open your eyes to a deep sense of sadness, an empty gut feeling, an anxiety and loss of purpose.  Mostly, this is occurs when I wake up in an empty apartment (I like people) - but I roll my eyes, my brows furrow, each morning I realize that this feeling has not disappeared with my dreams. Its back again? I thought I got rid of this stupid thing in eighth grade! Yet time has taught me that this depressing stupor is not something to be rid of - for every moment of striving against it is a complete failure.  I search deep to find that divine spark, that God given "Shasta-esque" joy for life, but I find its wandered off again, lost amidst my pursuits (basically a long way of saying that I habitually forget what's valuable, true and beautiful in life by slowly turning the light-hearted things that I love into demi-gods - like achievement, beauty, and counseling to personal glory, vain gratification, and moral arrogance - hmm, ever done that?) As I  said, I cannot overcome these things by myself - its been pretty useless so far.  What? I can't conquer my inadequacies - ugh! - don't you hate that?

So, I cannot be rid of it on my own.  The more I live the more I see the patterns - cycles of repentance, forgiveness, learning and failing.  One moment I understand and I seek to share an amazing spiritual truth, the next I walk in a gray haze of spiritual confusion ( I'm quite positive I'm not alone in this one).  I think I can safely say, and my dear, patient brothers would agree, that as woman, I have a good deal of experience with "cycles" - the physical being the very least. Like many, I cannot escape the monthly days of mood ..."swings" would be too gentle... lets call them the emotional equivalent of a tectonic shift.  Its aggrivating to lose control of your composure - just as I hate the mornings of mild depression, I hate being in a sour or irritated mood.  But, and here is the key, I am finding that I do not care to "be rid of it on my own" anymore.  Frankly, doing it on my own really sucks. (Don't tell my mom I used that word, its not allowed ;) )

This is where faith comes in - I may be inconsistent, my understanding my be insufficient, but I have seen hard evidence that there is a God and He is never like this.  And I really appreciate the learning experience He's bringing me through - I can cry and yell and laugh and play and philosophize all that I care to and God sticks with me. See, I cannot be rid of the darkness on my own. I think the simple admission that I do not understand and the final release of that control over my life to a God who is immutable is exactly what our Creator asks us to do.  He's probably thinking, "Duh! Hello? Did you really need to spend three paragraphs on that?"  Well, yes, God, I did, because I am an incredibly forgetful human who requires daily reminders of who she is.  
 
This probably comes as no shock to anyone - on paper none of us (at least none that claim to follow Christ) believe we can do anything without Him.  But as my theology professor once told us, most people live as practical atheists even if they "believe" in God.  So, let me ask you, are you practicing a life surrendered to God - the good things AND the bad things (including all your inabilities and personal issues)? I know that nine times out of ten, I certainly am not. Sometimes people challenge us with these types of questions and its cliche or cheesy, or on the flipside its legalistic and induces spiritual panic.  So, I just take a deep breath and take the question with me throughout the day - asking forgiveness when I fail, genuinely releasing my fears to God, not to prove it to myself or my fellow travelors, but because I love the God who made me.
 
 Its a cycle, an up and down, pull and release sort thing.  But thankfully, as I grow and time moves on, the lows are less low and its easier to see the light at the end of those proverbial tunnels ... hmmm....I think someone mentioned something about that once...wasn't it called something like sanctification?