Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fighting the Blues

We all have days when we need a pick-me-up. And when I get tired and ill I find it really easy to start feeling low. Not easy. Especially as I have to deal with me/cfs on a daily basis. But I am aware of some who suffer with far more serious symptoms than myself, and I am truly grateful for the moderate nature of my own illness. Yes I can still do pretty anything I ever did, if I pace myself very carefully and rest when needed. So I actually feel a little self-centred when I do begin to feel down. Ok, of course I'm dealing with bereavement as well, but the truth of the matter is that depression is never helpful. For some it may be clinical and they need professional support; for others, such as myself, I'm trusting that it is a more temporary consequence of challenging circumstances. And I usually find a way to break through into lightness if I persevere, so I remain determined to avoid medication. But what does that leave me with? Well I suppose I've tried everything from chocolate to a glass or two of wine, though not so much just recently. Escaping into a good book or more rarely a watchable movie is a workable option as well. The fact of the matter is, I really have found the perfect way of dealing with negative feelings that so easily could overwhelm… I create an atmosphere of worship, usually by listening or playing music. My day is almost filled with wall to wall worship songs. Well mostly anyway. I do sometimes listen to other stuff. And always, without exception, I meet with God and he quietens the raging storm that fills my mind, pours his peace into my broken heart and comforts me with his wonderful love. Nothing else changes, I'm still ill, and of course there’s never gonna be a quick fix for bereavement; apart from the presence of God that totally wraps me up in his arms of compassion and grace and mercy…

So today I felt pretty rubbishy. Rather weak and somewhat tired. So yes a little down in the dumps. I set out for my normal walk, starting out alongside the lake at Kedleston Hall; but somewhat hesitantly as I was not at all sure of managing the full 3 miles. 20 minutes playing with my camera gave me a nice slow start before I trudged along the particularly muddy pathway, and the beautiful sunny weather helped. As did my mp3 player set to play all my music alphabetically rather than by genre. Yes it may be 50% Christian worship music but the rest can be great fun as well! Every time ZZ Tops comes around I imagine these wonderfully gifted and somewhat eccentric Texans, doing their bearded thing on stage. And that always makes me smile. As do the hilarious lyrics often found in Clapton’s rendition of early blues music. Can’t beat the blues for beating the blues! But as I walk, and pray a little, I meet with God. And once more my heart bursts with gratitude for the privileged life I continue to be blessed with. Odd really… I keep imagining that one day I won’t just manage to walk this particular route, I’ll be able to run again. It’s been many years since I was able to go jogging, and I thoroughly enjoyed that particular exercise. I need to pray more.

Psalm 42
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”
My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!
Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.
“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”
11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

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