Getting sick is awful. I have literally been coughing consistently for the past week, and fighting off headaches. I would go to sleep early, only to be woken up by fits of coughing, followed quickly by my extremely necessary moans questioning, “Why”. And on top of that, I have had another bumpy week—another week of trying to figure things out personally and internally. Of feeling like the world is telling me one thing, but I’m still feeling something else. It’s been hard, and I’ve had a lot of these moments before—I thrive on them, honestly.
That’s how God made me. I seriously believe that.
But that still doesn’t mean that it didn’t suck, or that some things still don’t suck.
All throughout being sick, and even a bit before that, I felt like I couldn’t really…concentrate. I lost focus at a B-Boy battle and didn’t even place, let alone make it past preliminaries (although my scores were high, I just missed). I couldn’t find motivation to dance; to write; to be positive. Everything in my heart and mind felt, as best as I can describe it, clouded. I would wake up confused and ask myself, “What am I doing, again?”
But I heard a whisper, deep down, that never left, and I’m thankful it didn’t.
I’m relatively sure that you’ve had the same experience—we all have, I think. And in numerous points of our lives, too—some more poignant or significant than others. Our minds get jumbled and foggy and our sense of direction—life direction—gets thrown to the wayside. We forget what we want to do, where we want to go, and really for some of us—me in particular—who we are and whose we are. You feel empty. You tire out easier.
It’s like you took the knobs of an old antennae radio and just started wiggling them around, just to hear the “weeeeeoo” and the crackles and static.
It’s distracting, and it’s most certainly deafening.
This period recently seriously messed with my spirit. I heard doubts crawl back into my mind constantly. I would think about off possibilities that were only ending in negativity, anger, or both. Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do; because I felt so discombobulated, I struggled to find happiness. Which signals that I was in a really dark spot, because generally I am (as evidenced by the blog), a positive, never-say-die type of person.
I can say with confidence though, that I am grateful—and always grateful—to have these periods come over me. I’m grateful for these periods where I struggle with sadness, or I feel like giving in to The Enemy, or even quitting everything entirely and taking the easier road. Really. As I alluded to earlier, even in all the static, there was a still, small voice whispering:
“Tune. Tune. Tune to me.”
Tuning Yourself to the Spirit
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your word.” –Psalm 119:9 (HCSB)
I think it’s pretty explicit, no matter who you ask, that if you’re a serious believer in Christ, the Bible is your sustenance. It’s what nourishes you and keeps you fed spiritually. But I think another point of interest in the Bible is that it’s not just a book full of words on top of words. It’s not simply a bunch of advice, or glorified “Dear Abbey” letters, or even a cool story (but it is a pretty neat story, from a literary standpoint). No, it’s a carefully written direct connection to Jesus himself.
It’s a part of Jesus’ radio signal. And in order to really understand what He asks of you, you need to open the Bible and read it pretty consistently. You need to be willing to tune in to His lifestyle broadcast in order to grasp what you need to do for your lifestyle.
Now, I’m not saying that if you miss a day or two of scripture reading that you’re the worst person on the planet. Nor am I saying that if you haven’t started reading and studying it, that you are equally the worst person on the planet. He knows us and sees us where we are, and if that means we’re a little tuned out because we haven’t tuned in to His Words, we can trust Him knowing that He hasn’t forgotten about us at all. We should be mindful, still, that our actions dictate where our hearts lie; and if you’re taking Him speaking directly to you (Scripture) and trying to plaster it to your heart and soul, you’re making good steps of faith to follow Him.
“For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” –Proverbs 2:6 (HCSB)
Look, when we tune in to God and what He asks of us…He’s not trying to chide us, or belittle us. In reality, He’s trying to make us smarter, better overall people. He’s trying to make us into people that are more equipped mentally and spiritually to tackle the everyday rigors of the world we live in. Let’s face it—Jesus knows all about that mortal, crappy human-world-life, because He lived it. He got taunted and jeered; Jesus was even confronted by Satan himself—The Enemy—the guy who is the most evil that all of our superhero villains aspire to be. Jesus understood our level: He cried, He loved, and He died.
To say that the Bible isn’t a calling for us to tune in to the life He lived, and the calling He has for us is false. Because it really is a way for us to hear Him and understand; not just more about His life, but ours too.
Tuning in to Your Inner Self
Yes, God has put quite a bit of goals and aspirations onto my heart. He’s given me a strong determination to want to make change—to push forward for His purposes, and do some real good for people. He’s given me a character within myself that I know is 100% me: driven, fire-y, passionate and unrelenting; a fighter. When you know your character within yourself, it’s addictive because you know it’s what God created you to be.
You should tune yourself to those characteristics. After all, God gave them to you! If you’re a passionate, go-get-it guy like me, then learn to embrace that and make it your go-to. If you’re loving and unbelievably empathetic, follow your heart and don’t regret your sensitivity. Just like it’s absolutely impossible for me to quit my belief in Christ and the habits He has formed in my lifestyle, so too should it be absolutely impossible for you to stray away from the person that you are. Especially when you hear all the static and feel off balance.
When things get crazy, tell everyone and everything to be quiet. Feel that nagging deep down in your stomach—that nagging that, when the world says, “You should just quit,” replies with, “I can’t.” It’s that itch that you can’t scratch because you know it’s you. Sure, sometimes it may need to be controlled, and sometimes it may need some time to refine it. It’s you though, and it’s what God gave you to run with and mold.
There are always going to be times in my life, and yours, when the white noise is just unbearable. We will always have a period where we feel drained, pushed to the limit—a time when we can’t concentrate, even if we wanted to.
But there’s always a voice, a signal, which is faint in those times. Deep down it may be quiet, but it can be, and needs to be heard.
Don’t be afraid to tune in.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach