I was so empty today I wanted to skip church, but lacking a real illness I went anyway. It was good to see my church family, a set of rascally siblings I call home, but still, I was glad to leave those conversations and the madness that is Woodstock, Vermont during foliage season. A languorous, amber solitude in the late afternoon sun was just what I needed. I brought with me an intriguing book I discovered in the church library, and an old copy of Discipleship Journal. The latter was unfamiliar to me but had several articles by transparent Christians speaking of exactly the fatigue I feel. Everything I read, in fact, pointed me to the same cause and the same remedy. I am weary because I am trying to achieve excellent things by my flawed and inadequate self; genuine dependence on Christ is the answer. These walls have to go. This prayerless habit has to go. Those fatuous ideals have to go.
Long seasons without rest or refreshment grind me down. Sundays are meant for rest in my home, but church takes most of the day, after Sunday school, worship, an extended fellowship hour, and the long drives to and fro. Sundays are not what I wish, and I crave the retreats I used to take once a quarter. That was before I had teen students who need me to guide them daily through their rigorous education. I look back fondly on the days of phonics and field trips. Ah well.
Tonight I will stay out in our guest cabin and call it good enough. Prayer and praise. Silence, solitude, and sleep.
Thank you for a good reminder and for your transparency.
Isn’t it true that we have to hear the same message over and over? I have been immersed in God’s Word for over thirty years and it still strikes me as new from time to time. It feels like we spiral through life, revisiting the same character issues but at a higher level. We have matured and experienced more since the last time. I prefer to think of an upward spiral rather than a straight path, where I am placed back to learn what I missed the first time! Surely the spiral…