Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer Funk Lifting

I've had a pretty good summer, but I've found myself really having to force myself to go to church. Part of that is the change in the service start time. Part of it is some kind of funk that descended on me.

What's up with that? I've finally found a church that's close to what I've been searching for. Sure, there's some music choices that drive me crazy--that earnest Contemporary Christian vein. But I've gone to lots of churches and gotten used to overlooking musical programs that are severely lacking. I realize that I'm spoiled by my classically trained, church musician of a mom, and I try not to hold the failings of a church music program against any specific church.

Luckily, I've come to expect these spiritual downtimes. Much like in my marriage and my writing life, these cycles come and go. My experiences don't seem like those of my friends who wrestle with depression. My experiences seem more garden variety: sometimes I'm at a high point, sometimes at a low. The important thing is to clench my fists and just keep showing up. And sometimes, I'll be delighted and the work won't be as hard as I fear. And sometimes I'll sit there fighting back tears when nothing in particular is wrong. And sometimes, I'll feel that searing joy that makes me so happy to be alive.

I remember when people were shocked over the revelation that Mother Theresa had times of darkness and doubt. I always assumed that she did. I always assume that everybody who takes something seriously--whether it be a job, a marriage, a creative passion, God--will have those downtimes when they wonder if it's all worth it.

Yesterday was the first time I felt my summer funk lifting. It's not tied to the weather. Down here, we've got months of steamy heat before the first Canadian air mass heads our way. It's not tied to anything special my church is doing. Perhaps it's tied to the Fall season gearing up--yesterday, we signed up to bring food to the homeless at First Lutheran, an activity I've missed.

I won't be surprised if I find myself in a funk again at some future point. And when that happens, I'll just keep plodding along, secure in the knowledge that my funk will lift.

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