So today was a hard day. If I’m honest with myself, it began yesterday evening, but the brunt of it hit me today. I was feeling low, and yes, there were tears, too.
The word that came to mind to me for this experience was “turbulence” – you know, the completely unexpected sensation of being visible shaken while flying. What’s true for seat 22A is also true for our spiritual lives, too – sometimes, out of nowhere, things happen that shake us down to the foundations.
After spending some time indulging in some woe-is-me-ness, I finally recognized that I had an important decision to make. I could continue to wallow in the mood I was in, or do something to change it. In this instance, I figured that I had nothing to lose by trying something new.
I decided to exercise – nothing intense or anything – but enough to get the endorphins stirring in my body. Before long, I was so focused on the movements (proper biomechanics are important!) that I found that my mood was beginning to shift.
But that was not enough. I made another intentional decision to go and be around other people, while also making progress on the certification that I am pursuing. It felt nice to get outside of myself, engage with others, and also make measureable progress toward a goal. By the day’s end, I recognized that I was feeling like myself again. It took awhile, but I eventually bounced back – most of the way (maybe around 80%?).
You may be wondering, “Did you pray and read your Bible?” Yes, I did both of those things, and also listened to a couple of Christian podcasts and read a few devotionals, too. But sometimes, even then, these disciplines are insufficient (I’m sure others may disagree). I’ve found that reading the Bible and prayer are often like making dinner in a crock pot – the meal is tasty, but it can take awhile for the full transformation to take place.
Sometimes, you simply have to acknowledge that you feel sad and then take common-sense steps to move beyond your emotions. In my experience, God’s wisdom is often very practical, and before I start calling on heaven for a miracle, there is usually some incredibly ordinary first step that I can take toward greater peace and relief. In my case, I’ve learned that endorphins are real and that – while I’m in no danger of becoming an exercise fanatic – engaging in a consistent movement practice helps to level out my feelings when they are (justifiably, in my case) a little out of sorts.
So I reckon there is good news and some rough-around-the-edges news.
- The not-so-great news: Turbulence impacts us all. It’s a fact of life. 😕
- Here’s the good news: Turbulence is by definition only temporary, and according to Psalm 34:19, God promises to deliver us from the storms of life – eventually. ✝️
So perhaps the next time you find yourself on a plane and encounter a few bumps, you’ll remember this post and take comfort in the fact that the turbulence is only temporary! Clear skies are headed your way – perhaps sooner than you may think. 💛