Saturday, February 20, 2021

How to Climb Out of the Doldrums


I sank into the doldrums. Winter weather, COVID isolation and health issues made me want to pull a blanket over my head. I sat at my computer but could think of nothing to write. I struggled through the morning.

            After lunch, I wanted to “do something” with my hands. My bathroom cabinet and drawers had bothered me for weeks. Today was the day. I’d feel better if I accomplished great things. So cleaning cloths in hand, I emptied shelves and drawers.

            I replaced soiled liners, moved products I never use and rearranged products I do use. In my makeup drawer I found 29 alcohol prep pads. They had migrated to all corners, over and under drawer dividers—and multiplied.

            Lower drawers? Total disarray—over a bed of hair. A full bag of cotton balls could just as easily live in the linen closet. I found products I forgot I had and an instruction manual I searched for just last week.

            But I also found a brand new Sugared Snickerdoodle Fragrance refill, badly needed since my old one with a dried-up wick was still plugged in.

            All it took to accomplish great things was simply to get started plus 45 minutes.

Isn’t that how it sometimes is in our relationship with God? We let it slip. And then it turns into a mess.

We go to church—well, we used to. Now it’s so much easier to put up our feet and watch online. And no one knows if we skip even that.

We used to read our Bibles. Well, maybe that’s a habit that never developed. There’s dust on the only book that can tell us how live on earth to prepare for heaven.

And praying? What good does it do anyway? Maybe we prayed for a friend’s recovery and that friend passed on. Maybe we prayed for a different job, and it never materialized. So we give up. God? He’s far away and out of touch.

When such thoughts intrude, we need a new approach. So I suggest:

            TALK to a Christian friend. We all know someone who loves to talk about God. In fact, some are just waiting for you to ask how they’ve grown in their Christian walk.

You might even look for a mentor, as Kim and Janine invited me to be theirs more than 20 years ago. They are now like daughters to me, and I learn as much from them as they do from me. We inspire each other. Your friend may suggest:

READ your Bible. For starters, set aside 10 minutes a day. Either get up earlier or turn off the TV before bedtime. (I just discovered with five-minute animated videos that clearly illustrate Bible concepts. Great for novice and seasoned Bible readers.)

            TALK to God. If you’re not sure how, just think how you’d chat over a cup of tea with anyone who loves you with all their heart. That’s God. And remember: Prayer is not about getting what you want. Prayer is about developing a relationship. I wouldn’t know my husband if I didn’t talk to him. Let’s talk to God.

            READ inspirational magazines and books. I read a page in Mornings with Jesus 2021 to preheat my mind for Bible reading. There’s Guideposts, Today’s Christian Living and a jillion online magazines (just Google) looking for subscribers.

            TALKING lets you ask questions and READING helps answer them. It’s a win-win.

            The best part of cleaning out my bathroom cabinet was that it gave me something to write about, and I’m back on a motivated track.

            So clean up your spiritual life and spruce up your relationship with God. You will surely feel invigorated. Give it a try. And let me know how it goes.

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