It had been a long busy day. The cell phone rang as I loaded the groceries into the trunk of the car. The voice was that of my older son, a pastor in the New Orleans area.
"Why is the last post to your blog dated January 2nd"?
"Because I haven't written anything since then", I replied matter-of-factly.
"Well, you need to write something."
Perhaps I should. In fact, I have thought the same thing for nearly 10 days. But I felt drained... Empty... Non creative... Writer's blocked ... Dull ... Word weary... Uninspired... Bummed out... January blue ... Subfreezing... Snow Shoveled out... Overcast... Unable to put enough thoughts together to be coherent, or to feel like I really have anything of consequence to say.
Did you ever feel like that?
The stuff just piles up. Ministry responsibilities continue. Sermon prep. Hospital visits. Counseling sessions (when you feel like you could use some counseling, yourself!). Programs demand attention, and you feel like you have attention deficit disorder. Administrative responsibilities cry out for attention. Unfinished tasks. Deadlines loom. It's cold and miserable outside and the first day of Spring is still nearly 70 days away. Bills pile up, as unexpected expenses come one after another.
The natural human reaction seems to be to slide into some kind of funk, and sing the blues.
Some of you have been there and done that, yourself. It happens more than we would like to admit.
That is where I have been for the past week or so. I'm not proud of it - just stating the facts. Furthermore, I'm not asking for pity, or for someone to say, "I really feel sorry for that poor guy". Nope. Hold the pity. None requested. None deserved.
The problem is simply a missing joy.
The good news is that I know what to do about it. In a word, it's prayer.
When I step back and take inventory, it's obvious I haven't been praying enough. I haven't been praying fervently. I haven't been praying effectively. I haven't been praying the promises of God.
Prayer is to the soul what oxygen is to the body.
Prayer is communion with the Father.
Prayer can be whispered, shouted, or silent. It should be bold, but not arrogant. It can be, at the same time, plaintive, penitent, and personal. It involves confession, praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and petition, and it puts me in touch with my Lord.
Prayer seems to unlock the meaning of the scriptures I read. It helps convict me of sin, encourage me in the faith, and put me to work in service. It restore the Joy of His Salvation, and it clears the cobwebs from the soul.
I'll try to blog a little more regularly, and post something that may be worth the time spent in reading it - but for now, I think it's time to just get off the computer - and spend some time in prayer.