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I feel a lot better now that I’ve given up hope.
OK, I’m just joking (I do have hope) but it does describe the melancholy way I feel. It is a battle of cycles – if I feel bad, don’t worry it will pass; if I feel good, don’t worry it will pass, too.
Over the years, I stopped trying to figure it out. Too much caffeine? Sugar? Food? Not enough exercise? Too much stress? Get better sleep? Changed all those things. To some extent, they work, but not completely.
Perhaps I need to change my perspective – trust more, believe harder in God’s goodness, in myself, set goals, etc., etc. No, I’m not going to think my way out of this.
I know I have a good life, that there are people who truly care about me, and that God is good and good towards me. I don’t have to pay a counselor to tell me to make a gratitude list: a good job with respected coworkers and employer who treats us well, a faithful wife and children who call, a warm and decorated home, good meals, and a dog of unconditional love.
It’s just feelings.
In younger, stupider days, I may have thought that I could and should “fix” it. Maybe porn will help. Or some addictive substance or behavior. Or allowing myself to be resentful and going about as a raging, abusive buffoon. But while avoiding these indiscretions may not make me happy, I know beyond doubt that partaking in them is sure to make me miserable. They truly don’t help.
I know such depressive talk doesn’t apply to everyone. Some have a very positive outlook on life – they know what their dream is and they pursue it. They truly feel excited about the simplest of things. They don’t overthink life.
Others of us are helpers – doing the next right thing to help others along. We suit up, show up, and do the best we can. We pray but hear silence. Sometimes we find ourselves in the shadows wondering if we have missed a turn.
On a check-in call this morning, someone said today is the shortest day of the year. This descent into the end of things and darkness may explain my mood (at least this go-round). Someone else said that it is fitting that Christmas is this time of year as the world descends into darkness. A people who sat in darkness saw a great light (Matthew 4:16 quoting Isaiah 9:2).
Hope is being faithful to God and doing the next right thing for those around you. You may feel great. You may feel bad. But it will pass. Hang on. There is light to come.Published in