I’m about to be very real with you, so buckle up.
I’ve been experiencing a significant case of the spiritual doldrums lately. No doubt this kind of thing happens to the
best of us, and in my case, it happens to the rest of us, too. While this summer I was on fire (and really, for full effect you have to read that as “on fi-yah”) for the Lord, as of late I’m just kind of feeling ho-hum.
Kind of dull.
Kind of blah-dee-dah.
Don’t get me wrong or anything, I’m still all in, Team Jesus all the way. I’m just lagging in my usual joyful exuberance and inspirational overload that I’m used to; hence, the overabundance of stories lately on my blog about drunk driving pet squirrels, car jacked three-legged turtles named Stumpy, and dog poop.
I admit, a big part of my problem is other people. If I didn’t have to deal with other people, particularly other people who I find annoying and downright stupid at times, I would be fine. In fact, my life would probably be so fine I’d waltz around spontaneously singing show tunes and dancing with an umbrella in the middle of Broadway Street in the rain if the opportunity presented itself.
Unfortunately, my life is not a screenplay and I am not able to write out all of the annoying and seemingly stupid people who are keeping me from singing show tunes and dancing in the streets. I’m kind of stuck with them, and if I’m being honest, a few of them are really bringing me down.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. Two weeks ago, my BFF and I had one of our traditional GNOs (girls night outs) that consists of a trip to Barnes & Noble after our boys are put to bed for a cup of joe and a shared dessert of the decadent variety. We catch up on all the things we don’t normally have a chance to catch up on during the rest of the week. Normally, there is a lot of laughter involved.
The entire evening costs way less than a trip to a mental health counselor with far better results.
Our last GNO, however, ended up being more of an all out vent fest. It seems that my BFF and I have a lot in common, including the same taste in annoying and stupid people. We ranted, we vented, we griped for two hours about everything that was wrong with these people, everything that wasn’t going the way we wanted it to in our lives, and everything else that we could think of that was remotely negative.
The fine staff of Barnes & Noble had to throw us out of the store because we weren’t done with our tirade yet; so, we left and continued our diatribe from Fort Wayne all the way back to New Haven to my friend’s house, where we sat in the driveway and continued to talk for at least another 45 minutes.
Maybe it was the coffee talking, but I don’t think so.
Here’s the thing. One would think that after all of this pent-up stuff was let out, we would feel better, right? The truth of the matter is, I know I didn’t. I know my friend didn’t, either. The next day, I felt just as insipid as I did the day before, and perhaps even more so. I really thought that a GNO with my Bestie would make everything better. It didn’t.
Where did I go wrong?
As I strolled along my street the next morning, the beautiful fall leaves creating a colorful tapestry beneath my feet, I mulled over the night before in my head. Seemingly out of nowhere, the following conversation took place in my head: (Side Note: Mom, if you’re reading this, I apologize. I know it makes you nervous when I start talking about the voices inside my head. I promise you, though, they are completely harmless and I have been taking my medication 🙂
Voice: ‘You know where you went wrong, don’t you?’
Me: ‘Uh, no.’
Voice: ‘You did a lot of talking. You did a lot of complaining and griping. You didn’t do any thanking for what is going right, and you didn’t do any praying for what you want to see changed, or for what you need help with.’
Voice: ‘Oh, and Beth? Maybe you should consider praying for those people you’ve labeled annoying and stupid. Maybe they need your prayers more than anyone else.’
Me: (More Silence)
That’s where the conversation ended. I had nothing more to add, primarily because I knew the voice in my head was 100% right.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to do about it, though.
After some thought, I realized that perhaps my friend and I needed to revamp our GNO into a GBSNO (girls Bible study night out). We could still do our traditional Barnes & Noble thing. We could still have coffee and chocolate or whatever other calorie laden dessert strikes our fancy at the Starbucks counter. Just from now on instead of babbling on and on for over two hours about all that is wrong in our worlds, we’re going to have a purposeful time of prayer and Bible study.
Yep, we’re going to make positive changes in our world and it feels really, really good!
Tonight is our first GBSNO and we’re cheating a little teeny bit, or rather, we’re celebrating in a big way our new adventure. We’re taking our GBSNO on the road to the Hundred More Years concert tour featuring Francesca Battistelli, the Sidewalk Prophets, City Harbor and Andy Cherry. There will be absolutely no ranting allowed in the car on the way to the show, though. Praying will be allowed, as will reading the Bible. (Well, I won’t be reading the Bible since I will be driving. That would be kind of dangerous I suppose.) I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!
What I want to know is, how do you deal with the spiritual blah-dee-dahs? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your story!