Two words that come close to describing my state of being lately are numbness and inertia.
It is like I am infected with some sort of drug that makes it hard for me to feel, and hard for me to do. Intellectually I see these things and am aware that there is a problem, but physically and actually, I don’t seem to be able to move beyond it.
There are many reasons for this state, some that long predate the coronavirus lockdown, but I think the lockdown itself has exacerbated it. Many people talk or write about feeling a lack of productivity while at the same time, urging us to be kind to ourselves, to release our concerns and just try to do our best each day and be satisfied with that.
I suspect there are hundreds of thousands of people who are experiencing something similar. There is a collective and sometimes palpable sense of trying to come up for air. This, as wave after wave of difficult news, difficult relationships, difficult health problems, difficult financial burdens, difficult moral and ethical situations repeatedly crash over us and attempt to drag us backward into a deadly, suffocating embrace.
It is a hard time, and it is oh so easy to lose hope. The book of Psalms is written for times and situations like this. Just one example is Psalm 42:11 (NIV):
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Or how about this passage from Isaiah 40:31 (NIV), which is famously featured in my favorite film, Chariots of Fire:
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I believe these things and hang on to them with every fiber of my being. But some days, honestly, I struggle to see them as more than platitudes.
One of the reasons I started this new blog is to introduce a daily discipline of achieving something small. This accomplishment can in turn perhaps spark something more in my own daily walk. Maybe it can serve as a very small catalyst, too, for someone else.
I hope so.