Lately, I haven’t been inspired to do anything. And by “lately” I really mean the gaps of time over this last year that seem to be painted black. Even sitting down to write these words is something I’m only doing because God keeps speaking to me, “you need to write.”
It’s never a good time. There’s either too much going on or not enough happening to be inspired. My mind is consumed with figuring out how to get a job, so I don’t feel I can have creative space. When I have a job, I’m too busy to make time for anything remotely artistic. Not being married, being married. Living in a country I would prefer not to, or living abroad where life is harder than it appears. My brain and my heart are banging on the walls of my flesh to be let out, but for some reason, lately they’re given no chance for escape.
This morning, I was on my yoga mat, trying to get some good stretching in. Many of you reading this might have a problem with yoga. To that I would have to say I’m sorry. Because even as a Christian, I often find it to be a way that I connect with God and with myself more than any other. Those thirty or forty minutes are time for me to understand my own humanity, my flaws, my needs, my desires…the selfish and the spiritual.
As I finished my practice, I recited the phrase that my teacher asked us to embrace today: go with the flow. In all my 29 years on this earth, I’ve never been more “go with the flow-y” than I am right now. I’ve learned that I ultimately have less than minimal control over what happens in this world, but the choice I can make is how I deal with it.
And I’m not dealing well with my creative block. As I spent those few moments on the mat, I asked God what He wanted from me. I asked Him why I didn’t have a job yet, why I was stuck. He had some answers for me. In that moment, I wasn’t ready to trust Him with what He told me. I couldn’t go with that flow.
Forcing things in life rarely works to our advantage. However, on the flip side, we rarely accomplish anything without hard work. Where is the balance? Can we be hard workers that are okay with where we are in the moment? Can we embrace the still, stuck seasons as much as we embrace the successful ones? It’s not a question I have an answer to, but I do hope to find it one day.
Yes, I need to make effort to cleanse myself of this creative blockage – to go out and get inspired, not allowing my outside circumstances punish my inward longings. But even in this season, can I appreciate the emotions I feel? Can I allow the pain of not realising those longings and dreams as potential hope-igniting fuel for something more? Can I extend thankfulness for the situation I am in today and the one I will be in tomorrow?
Going with the flow is a metaphorical trust fall into the arms of God’s plan, no matter what. To fight the flow, is to fight reality. Sometimes your raft is in calm waters. Life is easy and you’re oars up, sipping a piña colada. But the rapids are also part of the flow. Those days you wonder if you (or your dreams, goals, vision) will live or die. And the moments after the chaos, where your heart wants to beat out of your chest, they too are part of the flow.
These are a lot of words just to tell you that my “go with the flow” mantra really means listen to Jesus and do what He says. When I am fighting His words, His plan, His purpose, especially the things I don’t want to hear, I don’t get to enjoy life. Why? Because He has the best in mind for me and those behaviours only cultivate fear and emit rejection. I’m fighting His goodness with my own brand of control. And fighting against what’s good will only wear us out.
God knows my destination. He has it all figured out, I just need to submit to His will, His flow, and go with it.