Life is like the dishes. There are always more dishes. Not half an hour ago I washed the last container and miscellaneous spoon (there are always an abundance of dirty spoons in my kitchen), and then I emptied my lunch kit and found two more containers. So it goes. I paid my telephone bill just now, but there is a credit card bill waiting in the wings. There is always another bill. There is always another dish. Don’t get me started on laundry.
I’m in a slump. I have a slump every six to eight weeks, so I’m no longer alarmed by them. I know I will rise like the phoenix and become my usual, optimistic self. But that person is unlikely to return today. I’m consumed my merry-go-round life, and trying to reconcile how hard I’m working with my meagre results. When will I catch up to my dreams? It’s like the final lines of The Great Gatsby , in which Nick Carraway likens us to ‘boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.”
I remind myself that I’m only twenty-three, and can hardly be expected to have it together. I also remind myself that part of the issue is that keep myself in a constant state of tension between my current life and my dreams.
But when I’m in a slump, these don’t seem to matter. My best bet is to keep the motions going, so that when Geralyn the Optimist returns, she doesn’t have too big of a mess to deal with.
My pastor said that hopelessness indicates we’ve reached our personal limit. Hopelessness is us ‘redlining’–a warning that we dare not stay here too long or we may get hurt.
But he also said that hopelessness was his favourite ‘difficult emotion.’
He insisted it was true because, when hopelessness, he turned to Jesus. In fact, hopelessness was what brought him to Christ in the first place.
So in these moments when I can’t seem to keep my head up and life seems like an ever accelerating treadmill, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. It’s true, I guess. During my slumps, I listen to more sermons, more hymns and Christian music. I pray more, even though it’s mostly “Help!”
I wish I could instantly be rid of this blend of weariness, discouragement and uncertainty but if I can’t, I guess I can ‘glory in my weakness’ in which God’s power can be perfected.