Have you ever known a person who was never satisfied with where they were in life? The person who kept changing jobs or houses or spouses? The person who would get really excited at the project du jour but the next time you saw them the glimmer was gone. Have you ever been that person? I have heard and used every excuse in the book. Do any of these sound familiar:
- I think my ADD is kicking in.
- It must be my entrepreneurial spirit.
- I guess I am just a “starter” not a “maintainer”.
- Maybe I am going through a mid-life crisis.
- I am depressed. I need a change, something to pull me out of it.
Some of us may have ADD, depression or be going through a mid-life crisis. Others could be entrepreneurs who go around starting things. But maybe, just maybe, you are like me and sometimes just get BORED. I have tried most of the excuses above, but, when I spend quiet time with God the loud message I keep hearing is “YOU ARE BORED”!
I can’t believe I am going to share this but here is a recent entry to my journal. I journal everything to God so that is why it sounds a bit interactive.
Journal Entry 10/18/09
I know I haven’t written in a few days Lord. Quite honestly I feel like a broken record. I don’t want to make you endure my rambling when I am even sick of myself. If I told you how I “really” feel, it would be how I always feel lately. I know I seem to lack gratefulness and appreciation for all of the blessings you provide. It is such a re-occurring theme Lord, but if I try to pinpoint the underlying core issue, it isn’t substantial. The core issue is that I get “bored”. When I get bored I feel mildly depressed and discontent. The solution that has worked in the past is to make major life changes. But You don’t always call me to change. Sometimes I have felt you were calling, but this time I really don’t feel that. I feel as if I am supposed to “bloom where I am planted” now. I believe firmly I am doing the work You are calling me to. I believe my family is where You want us.
When I look for an underlying issue I am left with the lack of the desired adrenaline rush that happens when major change occurs. It provides a placebo effect of feeling more alive.
This is truly how I began my writing to God just a week or so ago. I have seen many other people cause chaos in their life because of this affliction. This time instead of having the kids plan house hunting expeditions I decided to try something different. I tried to do what I would tell someone else to do!
Move Towards God
When I don’t know what to do I know that it is really important to move towards Jesus. Our tendency is to self-medicate or take control which almost always leads us away from God. For me, to move closer to God is to:
- Start back regular morning journaling to Him.
- Read the bible consistently and listen to sermons.
- Pray constantly during the day asking the Lord to guide me and be with me in everything I do.
- Purposefully stay as focused as I can on drawing closer to God.
It is easy to take control of our circumstances and start taking action in our own strength. If we are not going to God first our efforts are usually fruitless or harmful. This time I wanted to skip the mistakes.
Stay Ahead of Depression
If you have ever been depressed you know it is like a black hole. It pulls you down so far that you can’t even see the light. Whenever I feel even a little bit down I begin my process of Outrunning Depression . This time I tried to combine my efforts to keep depression at bay with my desire to move towards God. There are two main steps I focused on in the last couple of weeks:
- Getting out and doing things even if I didn’t feel like it. If it was up to me sometimes I could just sit around with my two puppies and read or write all day long. But if I am feeling down I know it is better to get out and be around people. I decided to find a bible study I wasn’t leading to participate in. I would meet new people, learn more about God, and get out and about. I found a great group and it has really been a blessing to me.
- Volunteering or offering service to others. This is always better than the monotonous focus on self! The best thing to help me forget about “me” is to look around and see what needs to be done in the world around me. So I just started offering to serve in small ways. CAUTION: If you overdo it and overcommit you will soon become overwhelmed! Remember you are in a tender state of mind to begin with.
There are many healthy ways to outrun depression and if you think it is getting too close, find a counselor. Counselors can help you fend off depression if it hasn’t set its’ deep talons in you. If you wait until it has a stronghold on you then the depression may require a lot more counseling and possibly medicine.
Do Everything for God’s Glory
Do you have kids? Are you married? Do you have a career? I believe God has a plan for each of us. And I know that his plans rarely coincide with my timeline. (It is my clock that is off, not His perfect timing.) I learned several years back that there are different seasons in our life and that I can’t find work/life balance by trying to do everything all in the same season. I just wrote about this in the blog post A Kingdom View of Work/Life Balance, so I won’t revisit it here. However, if you are bored or you’re not sure exactly what God wants you to do, then go ahead and bloom where you are planted. Approach your relationships and responsibilities in a way that glorifies God today. I embraced all of what God has blessed me with during this season and have begun to feel the peace. I know that this peace is the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For now I am good! I feel at peace and very engaged. God is ever faithful to meet us where we are!