Laying it down

Since somewhere around the end of 2014, I had been in a pretty dry and numb spot spiritually. I have various Christian-y sayings written up on my whiteboard — “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10) and “too busy not to pray” — and those would often gnaw at me a bit when I would think about how I ought to do some praying and Bible-reading. But I would inevitably set aside the still, small voice in favor of Netflix or thinking about training or schoolwork (least often). I knew the good I ought to do, but didn’t do it. In February 2015, I had finally had enough. 

I decided to obey, and began to pray again — not just the silly “oh Lord, please let me find parking because I’m running late!” stuff, but real prayer and time set aside to build my relationship with God. The very first time, I just told God that I was having a hard time chasing him and that I needed help. I told him that I was laying my burdens down (such as they are) at the cross.

The oddest part? It worked. I just felt lighter than I had felt in some time. My skeptical friends and readers will doubtless roll their eyes and consider it a placebo effect, and that’s fine. I experienced this and it has been a real effect in my life. I have always known how important this sort of prayer is for my spiritual well-being (and how important spiritual well-being is to my well-being in general), but it’s funny how much I can procrastinate on taking care of it, and for no good reason at all.

I’m still working at practicing that obedience, but even the few times a week I get in some Bible-reading and prayer have been a tremendous blessing to me. It has helped to refocus me and to remind me of my purpose in graduate school (and life in general): loving God and loving others.