Life will sometimes leave you feeling stuck. It’s a terrible rut, almost like living in an early television show devoid of color. Everything has a hint of sorrow. I don’t know about you, but when feeling this way, I have zero motivation to do anything. I mean ANYTHING. That’s because I feel powerless, inept and maybe even downright worthless.
And then I feel worse because I begin wondering if I am throwing my own private pity party. But it doesn’t change the fact that such feelings are very real. And they’re very dire.
Feeling Stuck? – The Obvious Answer
When stuck in life’s ruts, prayer, of course, is an obvious answer. I do that – as well should you. I ask God to “change my stars” in these uncertain seasons – acknowledging he no-doubt has a plan and a purpose for which I must trust fully in him. In seeking his favor, I ask him to grant a means for making things better. I sincerely believe in that hope.
But, at some point, I even stop doing that. Soon, I find that I am distancing myself from God and perhaps even rejecting his love in the process.
Hope Requires Letting Go of Past Baggage
…throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. ~ Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT
I have examined so many parts of my life, looking for sources of discontent, apathy, and complacency. In one of my more darkened seasons, this stuck feeling wasn’t isolated to job, home life, or any one area – it was all of them. But, of course, problems in those areas amplify in the midst of hopeless feelings.
At the time, I thought I simply had an inability to focus. It has to be why I didn’t want to do anything; because I couldn’t focus. So I read books and articles about developing personal focus. I soon realized that the hypothesis was a bit off target. While in prayer, I was granted revelation that my source was not with my focus… it was WHERE I focused.
Could it be that God is giving signs that it’s time to recalibrate personal priorities?
When it’s time to Recalibrate Your Priorities
I’ve occasionally self-diagnosed having a restless spirit. It’s not quite the same as being stuck, but I think the two go hand-in-hand. For me, being stuck is the result of lost or insufficient momentum in life. I find that when I get to that point, I am depressed. The next progression, it almost always seems, is to become restless.
And, as I’ve written about previously, a restless spirit is a wonderful opportunity for monumental growth and change.
In this instance where I shifted from personal focus to recalibration, I started tweaking where I focused my time and energies. Hope progressively returned and the haze over my life began to lift. The sun finally started to shine and there was more color sprinkling into my personal world of blah. And that’s why this Joyce Meyer post about growth from 2011 struck me so intensely when I stumbled across it one morning. In it, she says,
God is always doing something new. We need to use our gift of spiritual discernment to follow His plan and stop following our own thoughts and feelings. Glance at your circumstance and stare at Jesus. He’s the Author and Finisher of our faith. (added emphasis is from yours truly)
Even When Prayer Doesn’t Seem to be the Answer, it is the Answer
Truth be told, I am in the midst of another brutal season of life. Winds have changed and momentum has stalled. Revisiting this advice has helped me to be mindful and restore hope. It’s an answered prayer at just the right time.
Interestingly, I am reminded that we never will achieve that “arrived” status here on Earth. We’re always growing. In fact, the events of life and career will propel unexpected shots at your psyche. Some of those shots are more damaging than others. Some are crippling.
At least I now have a better grasp upon why I am so impacted and more capacity to deal as they happen rather than let them keep my soul state in a perpetual down cycle. Combine that with working toward God-driven visions, the colors in life will one day return to full intensity.
As Meyer states so well…
If you want to see change happen in your life, you’ve got to get a vision that goes beyond what you’ve already seen and experienced.
Chad Gramling is a author and historian who's “refining life, on purpose.” He regularly blogs about his experiences and how God is leading him at <a href="htt;?/1glories.com">1Glories.com</a>. Connect with him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/1Glories">@1Glories</a> or <a href="Facebook.com/1Glories">Facebook.com/1Glories</a>