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Friday, May 11, 2007

Yeah, I've Got Nothing...

I remember awhile back watching a video blog of a pastor who was launching a new website. He would stare into the camera for several seconds, and then begin what sounded like a profound statement. After only a few words, however, he would stop and continue to stare into the camera while considering his next words. This went on for about two minutes, and at the end he finally looks straight into the camera and says, "Yeah, I got nothing," as he reaches over and switches off the camera.

I remember laughing at this poor schmuck who had all the desire in the world to say something of significance, but couldn't think of a single thing. Ironically, I have found myself in that same place as I've considered blogging over the last few weeks. I sit to write and ponder deep things, and in the end I walk away with the same sentiment, "Yeah, I got nothing."

I guess you could say I've been facing a little bit of a dry time in my spiritual walk. Before you gasp in shock that a pastor would say such a thing, try to keep in mind that we are all human. And as human beings on this journey of discovery, we will all encounter times where we feel that God has gone strangely silent. We will all run into periods of life where we wonder if our souls have fallen asleep. I'm guessing you've been there. Maybe you are there. Sometimes spiritual dryness can be the result of overly busy lives, crowded work schedules, or unconfessed sins. At other times, however, we simply arrive at a place where we feel spiritually alone and uninspired.

The psalmist and king David ran into this quite a bit, evidently, which is encouraging to me because he was called a man after God's own heart. And yet he wrote,
"O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I need you most?" Psalm 10:1
"O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?" Psalm 13:1
"My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant?" Psalm 22:1
The list could go on and on. A man who pursued the heart of God better than any of us, and here he is asking the same questions I've heard myself and many others ask.

Maybe there's something to this. Maybe the very fact that we feel dry at times is a good sign- perhaps it means we've experienced enough of the life-giving presence of God that we know what it is like to be without. I'm not saying this makes a spiritual desert ok, but perhaps we can be encouraged to know we've become connected enough to God to realize when we've grown more distant.

So, from one seeker to another, here's some ideas for spiritual dryness. None of these are miracle cure kind of ideas, but this is what I've gleamed during this time from my own experience and the encouragement of others:

1)Keep at it. If your spiritual routines no longer feel meaningful, don't immediately get rid of them. Some of the greatest growth and refreshment will come through the perseverance.
2)Change it. At the same time, varying your routines and spiritual pursuits can bring renewed vision to your soul. Take a hike, sing in the shower, read a new author, visit a museum- try something new and search for God's presence there.
3)Remember. I believe the Bible calls us to remembering the work of God in our lives and the history of His church for times such as these.
4)Be a Blessing. Spiritual dryness always makes me more concerned with me. Spiritual vitality usually comes by caring more about others.

Keep seeking Him on this wonderful journey.

Nick

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one reading your blog? I'm sure I'm not, but probably one of the few who will at least respond. Anyway, I'm in that desert and have been for months. I'm positive it's my hectic life -- new home, working full time, three kids in sports, family stuff, a husband on shiftwork...and the list could go on. Sure, I could find time for God, but at this point I don't even want to...it's that bad. I'm still praying and still contemplative of His truth vs. the world, but totally uninspired. I admire your willingness to share with others -- it's valuable to know that "even you" are not immune to spiritual dry spells.

Keep blogging...even if no one reads it. I think that to put your thoughts out in print gives them a little more life and helps you to see where you are and gives you reference points to look back on later. I stink at keeping a journal and couldn't blog to save my life, but I appreciate you taking the time to put out these mini-sermons for me when I can't/won't go to church. Sure, I could pick up a book or check out a spiritual website, but because I know you it means more. I know you don't do it just for me (I realized it sounded like I was saying that...) but sometimes I feel like it is, so thanks for your time!!

--Britt

Anonymous said...

It is a little late to respond to this blog, so my thoughts may go unread, but I will put them out there anyway. Having just returned today from a month long sabbatical, I am plugged in again and reading the recent postings on this website.

Britt, your life sounds so fragmented, it makes my head swim to think of what your day planner must look like. I say back to you, as you said to Nick, I admire your willingness to share with others. Thanks for reading and commenting. I always love hearing from you. ~Ann.

jinamos said...

Well, I'm going to be honest. I didn't hear about your site from anybody, and I don't know you at all. In fact, I googled lyrics to a song I heard in church this morning and it brought up something you said. But this site intriqued me to read, and I liked what I heard. I am only twelve, so I'm not going to say I'm wise by any means, but I think that you're wrong about one thing: You're NOT going through a dryness in God of any kind. I can see God in every word you typed in this entry. He is very strongly in you, and He layed it on your heart to write this, I just know it. I have complete faith in you and God. You sound like an amazing person, and I sooo much hope to meet you someday. Your church is very lucky to have you; cherish them always as they do you. :) My church is so amazing by the way we watch out for each other, and our pastor is so kind. And when I was reading your post, I heard him saying it. I might even tell him about this; he would LOVE to read it. Thank you for posting this, and keep posting!! You rock!! :D