I have felt strangely uninspired in recent weeks. That’s unusual for me, as my mind is usually full of lots of fresh ideas every day. My blogging is normally a natural expression of those ideas as I tend to simply blog what’s on my mind. But in recent weeks I’ve found I have little to say. So what’s going on? As I’ve wracked my brain and searched my soul I’ve come up with some possible reasons why.
Perhaps I’m tired. Yes. I have been tired. So I’ve been trying to pace myself and catch up on sleep.
Perhaps I’m just too busy and my mind is so full of activity that it crushes my creativity. Yes. That could be true. My diary is particularly full at the moment and won’t be properly alleviated until we sort out certain staffing issues.
Perhaps I’m ill. Yes. That could be it. I had my jabs a few weeks ago in preparation for going to Burundi with Alpha in June. People often find the Yellow Fever jab has some physical and mental side-effects. It could be that.
Perhaps I’m not listening to the Holy Spirit. Possibly. Whilst there have been a few situations I’ve been in recently where I might have been a little less attentive than usual, in general God has not felt distant. I am still seeking to be prayerful through the day. I am praying and reading the Scriptures each morning. I am seeking to be disciplined and regularly worship my wonderful gracious God.
Perhaps I’ve been influenced by the some of the pastoral issues around. Maybe. Some are ill and despite prayer and medical help don’t seem to be improving. Some are under financial pressure, being made redundant, uncertain about the future. I have friends whose marriages are failing and no advice from me or others seems to make any difference. When that happens to people very close to you, it can rub off. So maybe there’s something there.
Perhaps I am being oppressed by the enemy. Perhaps. I wouldn’t rule that out. The bible tells us we’re in a battle. Satan doesn’t want us to be effective or make a difference in the lives of others. So that is possible. But I have faithful people around me praying for me, for which I am so grateful. And I know the Lord gives his armour, so that we don’t need to fall but stand strong in the battles of life.
Perhaps it’s a combination of these things. Or maybe I’m just going through a season of feeling uninspired. Simple as that. There’s no particular reason. It’s just how it is. Maybe.
I guess whatever the reason, what I need to do is to keep on going, doing the basics well. I need to stay close to the Lord. I need to keep loving my wife and children and family. I need to kindly, carefully and diligently do the work I’ve been called to. I need to rest and relax. And find joy in the journey of life.
I was at a training day for clergy on Thursday with Martin Wallace, the Bishop of Selby, and he was reminding us that in the midst of all we do we need to make sure we are laughing and praying and reading. He was encouraging us to hang in there, keep going and enjoy being you, doing what God has called you to do. And that’s a message we all need to hear.
So, inspired or not, that’s what I’m seeking to do. I know there is power in perseverance, even when you feel uninspired. That’s why on many many occasions we are told in the bible to endure, to keep going and to persevere – like in Galatians 6:9: ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ Maybe that’s all the inspiration I need.
Bless you, Matthew, for sharing that with us. it reminded me of something I wrote down in my journal earlier this morning:
“Yesterday I read Jesus description of the Holy Spirit as the “streams of living water”. Graham Cray says in the Encounter with.
God notes that during the Feast of Tabernacles water was processed up from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple and poured out on the altar as a sign of God’s salvation. On the seventh day the procession circled the altar seven times, and it was either then or on the following day which was a Sabbath, when no water was poured, that Jesus stood up and claimed to be the one to whom this ritual pointed.
I was remembering all of this just now and I suddenly remembered the image I saw just this week on tv of the water at the source of the River Avon bubbling up – very gently and unspectacularly, a bubble would rise up from beneath the ground to the surface of the pool, and I could understand why our ancestors saw places like this as somewhere mystical and holy. What I suddenly realised is that this is a picture of the Holy Spirit in me – gently and unspectacularly there but constantly bringing new life in and through me, refreshing and energising me by his presence.”
It struck me as I was praying for you that this image might be for you as well as me, so I thought I’d share it! The tv prog, by the way, was “The Flying Archaeologist” on BBC Four about Stonehenge.
Do you exercise at least thirty minutes, three days a week? A cure for burnout, train for a 10k run over the next six weeks. It will put all of your relationships back into perspective and give you more energy, less being tired in so many ways. Perhaps.
Remember this Matthew – “My precious,precious child, I love you and I would never leave you.During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you” God Bless xxxx Audrey
This encouraged me ” He was encouraging us to hang in there, keep going and enjoy being you, doing what God has called you to do.”
This week I was drawn to Hebrews 12 about running the race fixing your eyes on Jesus
Bless you all ( people mentioned)
Thankyou dear Matthew for your honesty. I think there are seasons. Consolation. Desolation.The Jesuits are good at this. Also there is a lot on just now. TheXI congregation. The basement, the changes with Al and I leaving. Forge, the housing situation and the change there for the family You are doing a great job. Things will clear again soon and there will be more joy again. Keep blogging. They are great. Inspiring and creative. Don’t push yourself too hard. Your brother Roger.
Sent from my iPhone
Two-three years ago I became dissatisfied with my fruitless Christian life and began to wonder if I could experience the “relationship” with God that I heard other people speak about, but had begun to doubt if it was even possible for me. I had begun to wonder if it was true that people could have a real, genuine two-way relationship with God. And then… just before you started your sermon you said something like ” keep searching, keep seeking for the Holy Spirit, there is more”. You can never know how life changing it was to hear the encouragement that there was indeed more and not to settle for a religion/faith that was lacking.
Thank you so much for being you.
Thank you Amanda. Much appreciated. God bless. Matthew