This post is one of those posts I have tried to post about for a REALLY long time but every time I sat down to write I just felt stuck. It’s weird – knowing what you want to write, knowing exactly what you want to say, and then feeling unable or inadequate to say it. I guess you could call it writers block in a way, but something about it felt different.
Personally, I feel it’s something I struggled writing about because it was something I was struggle with in my own life.
So what is it you ask? Spiritual apathy.
Spiritual apathy is…weird. It’s something we all go through, whether we want to admit it or not. It’s those moments where we’ve lost our zeal in seeking the Lord. We tell ourselves we’re too tired to do our devotional, or it’s okay if we skip this one (or two…or three…). We don’t need to go to church this week, or the next, or the next because we’ve got our relationship with God sorted out. We’re guilty of having both the best and worst days of our lives in the same week. We’re human and our emotions are fickle. While we may not become completely indifferent to our spiritual well-being (I hope, though I know I’ve been there before), we also recognize the fire that was once there has faded. Now what?
Isn’t this something people talk about in relationships all the time? When the “new love” and “newly wed” flame ends? Then what do you do? You fall into your routines. Life isn’t as exciting any more. You’re more comfortable around each other. You know, that kind of stuff.
Well, who is to say our spiritual life isn’t any different? We face our fire with God. We feel as if we are on top of the world. No one can stop us. Isaiah 40:31 feels so very real in our lives. Then suddenly, things change. We fall into our routine. We do a devotional to say we did a devotional, but it doesn’t have that profound, life-altering, heavens-open affect it had on us before. We find ourselves not listening as closely to what God is trying to tell us. We pray to say we did it or to ask God for something, but we don’t talk to God like we did before. We don’t talk to God as much as we did before. You can feel it, you know something is just off. The circumstances are different from person to person, but the separation is there.
People often say that when a relationship has lost its “spark” the couple needs to find something that can reignite that flame for them. Why, then, should our relationship with our heavenly Father be any different? After all, God not only knows us but wants to know us at the same time. The same way a husband and wife communicate with each other, we should communicate with God. He is the one who understands us and loves us best.
It sounds silly, but it’s true. We are taught to have a reverence for God, but we are also taught that God is our friend, and that we should always feel comfortable coming to Him. Don’t believe me? Trust me, it works.
Throughout the past couple years of my life, I have learned that those moments where I lay in bed at night and do absolutely nothing except tell God about my day, my struggles, my successes, what confuses me, and what is truly on my mind and on my heart become the very moments that aid in transforming my life and my relationship with Him. Being able to say “God this happened and I don’t understand” and “God this is what I think about this” opened my mind to being receptive to things He would tell me. I could hear Him speak loud and clear through my devotionals. I could feel His overwhelming presence throughout my day. Overtime, I often found myself not only wanting but needing to talk to him about my days. Those moments I felt most alone, I knew He would be there to hear me.
All of this sounds great and wonderful. All of this sounds exactly like what a relationship should be, especially for us women who just want someone who will sit and listen to our problems. However, it should be noted that none of this happened overnight.
Yes, I eventually built up a strong communication relationship with God, but not after wanting to yell about some things and completely neglect other things. It’s also something I had to and continually have to work at to maintain.
I have those moments where I doubt the path God is taking me down, and I have them more often than I care to admit. Where you are now doesn’t define where you are going, but that does’t mean it’s not hard to overcome the doubt while you are there. Maintaining communication with God is maintaining trust with God.
When a relationship falls into routine and the couple is looking to reignite that spark, very rarely are they able to try once and have everything go back to normal. I’m probably preaching to the choir when I say relationships take work, but they do. You have to give time to figure out what’s working and what isn’t working. You have to keep running toward lighting that spark together. It could take a week, it could take a month, it could take a year. But not walking away is the important part. It’s not easy to walk away from the one’s we love, so why do we make it so easy to walk away from the very person who knows and loves us best?
It’s a really corny example, but it reminds me of those stupid spark starters we had to use in chem lab. The ones where you scraped the medal stick across the plate with your thumb to get the gas flame lighted (You can see I did really well in Chemistry…) Anyway, those things were without a doubt one of the biggest pains ever. Almost always you could never get them to spark on the first try and there were times it seemed like I would be spending 5 minutes trying to light a Bunsen burner or whatever that thing was called.
But do you see my metaphor? It took work. There were always those people in lab that would grab one igniter after the other trying to get them to spark on the first try. They were the impatient ones. Then there were those who had their igniter and would hold onto it until they could get their flame to light. I told you, it was a corny analogy, but it fits almost perfectly.
You can’t expect things to magically happen or miraculously heal themselves if you always give up and walk away after the first try. Our relationship with our Father is no different. There have been so many times I have had to remind myself, or even to an extent force myself, to do devotionals, to pray, and to keep God at the center of my life. But when I continue to strive after God whenever I feel distant from Him, I find Him. Every. Single. Time.
No matter how far we go, we can never outrun God. No matter how far we stray, He is always there to welcome us back. We are never out of His reach. We can feel Him, tugging on our heart-strings, calling us back to Him, calling us home. He will always be there reaching out to us, working in our lives and in our hearts. In those moments, the most important action we can take is simply to follow His calling and answer.