Doldrums

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Rime of The Ancient Mariner) 

Why is there such a “spiritual” lull after Christmas? Why is there eager anticipation and celebration for the birth of Christ, but the day after Christmas, nothing. I personally feel it every year, but finally have a blog to say something about it. (is this a journal?-dork alert). Last Sunday, our pastor Frank brought a message of vision for the new year (funny, because I started this post a few days prior to the sermon, like how that works?). I personally need a vision and I’m not speaking of an apparition. It’s easy to get stuck in the doldrums, waiting for the wind. If you’ve seen the A&E version of C.S. Forster’s Hornblower movies, you remember Captian Pellew’s disdain of being “becalmed.” It’s there that I lose both perspective and momentum. Frank gave some insight:

1. Be available- to me that means be in the Word (I’m know God has volumes to teach me there), to be in prayer (I know God has volumes to teach me there), and to be in fellowship (I know God has…). Opening myself up to those reminds me of the urgency and importance of being part of the Kingdom.

2. Be realistic about how needy I am. We read the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14. I should just read that 2-3 times per day.

3. Be faithful and obedient to God’s will in my life. His ways are beyond me, and I think I should stop guessing the next step and just enjoy the ride.

C.S. Lewis framed this nicely in The Screwtape Letters and I’m paraphrasing loosely where the devil doesn’t tempt us not to pray, but instead says do it tomorrow. Like the bar that hangs the sign “Free Beer Tomorrow!” The good news is that we cannot row our ship out of the doldrums into the trade winds, good because God gets the glory.

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