Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
(Psalm 42:5 NKJV)
I woke up in a funk. I didn’t want to read or pray. I didn’t want to bundle up and go out for a walk. I didn’t want to do anything. So, I just sat on the couch.
I can’t quite remember how I got up off the couch and over to my blue thinking chair. I think it was God reminding me to take care of myself. I did a mini collage, looked at my previous collages, and scribbled a poem using words found within the collage.
(or quince frescoes).
This made me smile. And it made me think. What false facades do I need to let collapse? When I do, what will this create? Unassuming decisions? What does that mean? Or would I prefer to create “quince frescoes”? Sometimes just being silly and creative can get me out of a funk.
This little exercise rejuvenated my desire to sit and listen. I listen by reading and journaling.
I browsed one devotion and then another, then responded in my journal, where I confessed to God that this time of year just does not motivate me.
I like to talk and rant and complain. God invites me to listen. In my listening time, as I often do, I picked up the dictionary. I wanted to know what it meant to listen. The three entries in my pocket dictionary outlined a handy action plan for listening.
1. Make an effort to hear.
A simple first step, if I am going to listen, I have to make an effort. I have to open my ears. Place myself in the presence of the One I desire to hear. Open the Bible, uncap the pen, listen as one being taught and given words for the weary. (Isaiah 50:4)
2. Pay attention.
Once my listening ears are tuned in, I have to pay attention. Record what I think I’m hearing, ask God questions, and clarify with the Holy Spirit as to where He is leading for the day. (Isaiah 28:23)
3. Take notice of and act on what is said.
And finally, once I’ve noted what has been said; act on it. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. As I listened to God invite me to take care of myself, this prompted me to get out of the blue chair, bundle up in some warm clothes and take a walk on this sunshine laden day. When I returned, my funk was gone. I was ready for some more listening. (James 1:25)