I didn’t realize it was one of those spiritual questions at the time.
“What do you want me to do now?” Mom asked Dad and me.
She’d been in the ICU for seven weeks fighting sepsis—the body’s overreaction to an infection. It threatens damage and ultimately shutdown of multiple organ systems.
She never asked this question before.
Mom was a voracious reader, thinker and researcher in the areas of finance and medicine. She was never at a loss of things to do. So the question, “What do you want me to do?” stands out in my memory. She usually made up her own mind.
Because she was not herself, because she lacked focus or strength, she followed whatever we suggested. It was one of the last questions she ever asked me.
What do You want? Do I want that?
I find myself asking the same question these days.
“What do you want me to do?”
I ask it of myself as a creative. What do I want to write about and why?
I ask it of God as His child. I want to do you will, Lord. What is it? How can I please You today?
And you, reader. What about you? With all that’s going on with you, what would you like to see me do or write?
What stirs in your soul or spirit that you’d like to read here? If you could, sweet reader, what topic or emotion or leadership skill do you wish you could pick out of my brain and discuss?
Are there spiritual questions you’d like to ask anonymously?
We’re out of sorts and at a loss
Mom wasn’t feeling herself when she made it out of her hospital bed and home after seven weeks of laying on her back at death’s door. She asked for direction. Her mind needed a certain focus.
Like my mom, we aren’t feeling ourselves these days, either. Even if we aren’t sick. We’re out of sorts for a variety of reasons.
Death’s door seems a lot closer to many of us. An unknown future hovers like morning fog with the pandemic.
We look for direction, something on which to focus. Or, if we have a focus, a job, we struggle to keep our thoughts aligned to it.
Our thoughts flap like hummingbird wings and dart hither and thither at caffeinated speeds.
Covid19 pandemic timing coincides with a fallow field creative time I chose for this year. I should be fine, theoretically, doing my research for my historical novel, learning my writing craft, b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g rest into my spirit.
I don’t feel fine. I’m restless, unfocused, my willpower deflated. I tell myself it’s okay, it’s downtime for me creatively, but my type A shadow self stretches, uncomfortable from sitting too long and tries to stir up trouble in our unstable environment. I turn to the Bible over and over again.
“Be Strong,” God tells us”
Whether you’re leading yourself or a family, a company or a group, a team or a church choir, your perspective needs the big-picture. When the job feels too big and your resources too small, listen to the words the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets.
“‘Be strong, all you peope of the land, ‘ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I AM with you . . . My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!”HAGGAI 2: 4-5
This is hard stuff we’re dealing with (pandemic, elections, recession) and our emotions feel stretched. We’ve given up some things. Lost some things. And because of that loss, we find ourselves waffling, maybe even pushing back, or rewarding ourselves with comfort food.
Could your spiritual questions be grief in disguise?
You are not alone in the disconnect, sadness, overwhelm, anger, denial, sense of loss—including loss of life’s direction—you’re feeling. I wonder if they’re part of a strange sort of grief.
We’re all asking questions, aren’t we? Our questions offer clues for our journey. They may be simple questions. And they may be spiritual questions in disguise. Write yours down or bring them to your prayer time with your Creator. They deserve exploring. And answers.
My main character in the historical novel I’m writing feels these emotions as she waits for the next shift in her life. She’s no longer married. People believe something that isn’t true about her. Grief is part of her experience I’m writing about these days.
Stay tuned as I explore grief and maybe some more about this character in the next blog post.
What spiritual questions do you want to ask God when you get to heaven? Is there one in particular? Click here to answer. You might see an answer in a future blog post!