Worry. Anxiety. Depression. Hopelessness. I’ve struggled with all of them for as long as I can remember. If you see me out and about, you probably know the “smiling Beth”, always happy-happy. But if you lived with me, you’d know the other side. Not pretty.
Chris Zarbaugh taught for the last 2 weekends about a process of asking questions when something big happens in your life and you don’t know what to do. One half was about observing, reflecting on and discussing what has happened. The other half was about putting together a plan, setting up accountability and acting on the plan. The goofy thing is that I do pretty well with the “big” stuff of life. It’s all the little things that get me down.
So, I started asking, what do I need to do when I’m feeling hopeless and overwhelmed? I’ve observed, reflected and discussed my melancholy state over and over again until I’m blue in the face. I know what it is. But what am I supposed to do about it? What’s my action plan? My answer came over the last couple days.
1) In May, Kensington played a video entitled “Look Up” at a weekend service. The video ends with this line: “Look up from your phone, shut down that display, stop watching this video, live life the real way.” There are now several response videos entitled “Look Down“, asking if social media is really so bad. John and I were watching a couple of those responses before church Sunday morning.
2) As we left the church parking lot, we asked Jordan what she learned in class. Turns out that we had all been learning about Peter walking on water towards Jesus in Matthew 14. Jordan said she learned that we need to “look up” and keep our eyes on Jesus. I asked her what we would see and what would happen to us if we “look down” instead. She said we would only see the waves under our feet and we would drown.
3) I saw the trailer for “Interstellar” today. I’d never heard of this movie before, but I was struck by the first line: “We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, and now we look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”
Sunday’s service ended with a beautiful rendition of “Oceans”, sung by Cheryl Bollinger.
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
That was my answer. Look up. Call upon His name. Keep my eyes above the waves. Don’t look down at the waves or the dirt, but instead look up. For accountability, I really need to ask for help. I need to let people know I’m struggling and why (even if it seems like a really stupid reason). And for action? Turn on the music and turn it up loud.
Need more action steps? I wrote this a couple weeks later. I hope it really is helpful advice: Robin Williams & (Not So) Helpful Advice