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Eric's Sunday Sermon; A Reason for the Seasons
Just a picture of my uncle's dairy operation.
There is a time of quiet.
Sometimes things just do not click. There is an absence of raw feelings. We are just blasé about certain things. There is no juice. We suppose that if this extends to all areas of life we would call it depression. But what we speak of here is when the “lack of umph” applies to a generally specific area of one’s life. Of course this is a Sunday sermon so we apply it to the spiritual. What does this malady of lack of interest mean? Is it caused or is it just serendipity? Should we fight it or just go with the flow and ride it out?
It is a blessing to speak of such things for it is not a calamity or horror. It is not an end of our world type of problem. It is a not a dangerous predicament or a life changer. Our solid base is intact. Our health is normal, whatever that may mean. Our necessities are met and our security is not in jeopardy. We have much to be thankful for and should take the time to concretely recognize that reality. And indeed most of us do give thanks and appreciate all that we do have.
So we speak here of the joy of living in the moment with a connection to our spiritualness. Certainly as sentient enlightened human beings we should find joy and happiness when we commune with our God. But from time to time and day to day we may find that spark missing. We wonder why. Let us first recognize that this does not make us bad in anyway, merely subject to our human condition for this is normal.
For some funky reason this has always been a strange favorite of mine. It kind of fits here.
Cherish happiness but do not worship it.
An interesting concept that we can see from a marriage break up. The couple had been married for ten years. Children were involved and healthy and good. A home was provided for them. There was no infidelity or major breaches of the marriage covenant. Upon trouble, counseling was sought. But after much effort the wife wanted a divorce. The bottom line reason was that she was not happy. She just was no longer happy. The interesting part is that as she put it; “she was no longer happy in the marriage”. Of course we all know the immediate outcome was a divorce. And what most intelligent experienced people would guess was true, the wife was not happy in divorce either. The happiness which she sought was not “in the marriage” but in life. And so it seems that our connection with our God sometimes does not make us happy. Is that reason to divorce ourselves from God? Of course not. This spark known as happiness, contentedness and joy is an inside thing. It does not come from external sources, it comes from within.
Your writer here once had an episode when life was in full swing. Job and money were great. A new child was brought into the world. A marriage was flourishing. A home was rock solid and extra activities were fruitful and healthy. However I reached a funk. There was no joy for months. Daily events were just ho hum and humdrum. It was in this funk that the realization was found that the things of this world do not create a happiness at all, not even the people or events could create a happiness within.
These pigs sure seemed happy to see me.
We often need another to feel we have anything at all.
How about you?
Can you be alright without feeling all bright?
A time of quiet.
There is a very good news side of this phenomenon although it is hard to see at a time of flatness. It is in the loss of the feeling that we learn to appreciate it. Each episode of the nothingness can lead to a deeper appreciation of the aliveness of the feelings.
If one is so inclined you can wake up before the sunrise. During the dark time just before sunrise there is an activity of wrapping up the night. Small animals scurry to their respective homes after a night of activity, there often seems to be a night breeze rustling trees and such. Then before sunrise, but during the dawn and coming of light, there is a stillness born of the arrival of a new day. Even the breeze seems to lay quiet for a time. This is a time of calmness. It is the natural order of things. It is a perfect time for quiet contemplation and for stilling one’s mind. And there it is. We also as human beings need this natural order of stillness. The lack of activity in our psychic. A time of thought rather than activity and feelings. A time to recharge. Oh sure this is a time we at first find aggravation with. We crave the feelings and happenings within our spirit and being. We are human and crave the feel good sensations of life. We are reminded of the fellow who begins a journey into meditation. The first and hardest thing he must do is to sit still. Oh my, this is so hard for so many people. Just to sit still and close your eyes and just breathe in and out for five minutes without thinking of all there is to do. To remain quiet and not feel, struggle or do is a very hard thing to do.
And so if we feel a flatness and lack of zeal, this is a season in our lives. Perhaps a short one or perhaps a long one. There is nothing wrong. It is natural. Yet we humans find it a lacking, when in fact it is an opportunity.
Can it be that all things at all times are not to be vibrant and productive? We need look no further than plant life or animal life around us. They experience seasons. And in all the world, even in places where there is no overwhelming evidence of seasons like Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter the natural world experiences up times and down times. There is a time to flower and bear fruit and there is a time to not grow at all and seemingly not change. There is even a time to loose growth and go dormant. Oh the outside leaves may stay green and alive but there is a time when only the very inside of the plant remains active.
Just a country lane that I love.
So we are human. And we are a part of the wonderful natural world. And we should stay in gratefulness and awe of this condition. But we do not. We put ourselves in such a mindset that we feel the need to always produce and feel a net loss when we are not productive. When there is a lack of pizazz we see a problem. We do not like a season of no great feelings. We feel a constant need to achieve happiness. If we are not all sunshine and bright with life we do not like that feeling. We are programmed to believe that the only good feeling is a pleasure feeling. Do we cut down the tree that has lost all of its’ green and outside signs of life? No we recognize that it is winter and the tree has a natural cycle and we give it the season to lay apparently dormant. Why cannot we be so kind to ourselves and accept and appreciate when we have a need for dormancy?
A great creator somehow and in some way made this fantastic world and indeed universe. All things were made to be. Certainly within this great thing we call life there are cycles. We are part of life and must assuredly experience cycles. So now when we go to a place and seek to commune with this great creator and find ourselves flat and uninspired what should we think? Should we get down on ourselves or think that something is wrong with us? Who are we to criticize the cycles of life? If our creator made us this way don’t you think that that is how we are supposed to be and are loved just the same as when we find great joy. We should in our quietness be thankful for the chance to catch our breath and not be bounced around by feelings. We should embrace this time of stillness of the heart. For every season there is a reason. We could say to be joyous in the lack of joy, but now that is not the point is it? It is in acceptance that we find a peace. An acceptance that we are human and made in a very special way that allows for experiencing all seasons.
This Sunday sermon is not meant as something dealing with a clinical depression. That is another matter altogether and we should seek guidance if we find ourselves with such a malady, it is serious business.
I know this is not Sunday. I have been travelling quite a bit across some date lines and have found lately that the day of the week means very little to me. I am back home now and I hope to have that situation rectified shortly. Thank you for your patience.