Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. I’ve been feeling rather dry myself lately, but I don’t think it has anything to do with Lent. Here are some of the things that seem to wring me out, spiritually-speaking. Maybe you can relate.
I LOVE studying and learning more about theology, the Bible, etc. But sometimes, when so much time is devoted to research, study, and writing ABOUT spiritual things, it can begin to feel very head-oriented. It becomes hard to read a passage of the Bible or a chapter in a book, to listen to a sermon or participate in a Bible study, without analyzing it. It’s like taking a step back and looking the Bible up and down with a calculating eye, when really, I just need a hug.
Perhaps some people would cite busyness as a detriment to their spiritual walk, but for me, it’s isolation. Even though I’m an introvert, I deserately need other people, and tend to feel most connected to God when I’m connected to others. In a sense, it is about busyness; the busier I am, the more time I am required to spend alone. And I need community.
Having an Agenda
Having an agenda is not a bad thing. Jesus used Isaiah 61 to define his ministry, and I want to follow in his footsteps–to comfort and to and proclaim freedom and favor, particularly to women whose lives have been devastated by shame, legalism, abuse, oppression, and other nasty effects of the curse. But for someone with activist tendencies, who can’t look at a problem without feeling compelled to fix it, making sure that I am first and foremost following Jesus, and not just an admirable agenda, requires vigilance. And having any sort of agenda, even a good one, can wear a person out, especially if some people would consider it controversial. Sometimes I feel like a small Hobbit on a weary quest, and just want to go back to the Shire, sit in an armchair by the fire and smoke a nice pipe–or, you know, the Jenny equivalent.
Can you relate?
For me, I’ve found that the best antidote is worship. I can close my eyes, and sing to God, and abandon myself in worship in ways that I struggle to in other contexts. I don’t typically listen to worship music around the house–I don’t typically listen to anything around the house, except maybe audiobooks and the superhero cartoons blasting in the background–but I think I may download a new album or two, to give my soul little sips of refreshment throughout the day.
What about you? Where do your dry places come from, and what do you do when you find yourself there?