Soon after starting this blog I made a commitment to myself to make at least one post every month. I’ve more or less kept to that discipline. If you look through my history I don’t think you’ll see any gaps, although, as I think I’ve confessed before, there have been a couple of occasions when I was a bit late and had to massage the publication time to keep my perfect record.
Over the last couple of years it’s become increasingly difficult for me to maintain a regular output, and this is frustrating for me because if anything the amount I want to say has increased. I certainly have a head full of ideas that I want to discuss. Lots of questions, few, if any, answers. It’s funny how answers seem to become less important as I grow older.
But if there is so much I want to say, why am I finding it so difficult to write?
There are several reasons, including my failure to make time for this between my other activities, and my strong desire to fully think and pray through some of the more controversial subjects that interest me before committing those thoughts to publication.
But the biggest reason is a loss of energy and motivation as I’ve found myself battling through a season of anxiety and depression.
The battle started in early 2017, as a result of circumstances I can’t discuss here. When I realised what I was facing I sought professional and pastoral help, and eventually felt that I was starting to turn the corner. But at the end of February this year I was struck down harder than ever, and as a result I haven’t been able to work since then.
I’m continuing to fight. In terms of health services I have a combination of medication and talking therapy to lean on. Spiritually I have a loving God who has placed key people in my life and opened my eyes to recognise and value them as they stand beside me in this battle.
I believe the antidepressants I’m taking (and now trying to wean myself off) are the main reason for my energy and motivation issues. I’ve had disrupted sleep and struggled to get out of bed before the afternoon unless I have an appointment to force me into action. But while it’s easy (and maybe accurate) to blame pills or circumstances for the state of my mind and body, I also have a responsibility to make choices and take actions to change my situation as far as I’m able.
That’s why I’m making a new, short-term commitment to this blog. For the next two weeks I will make a morning entry every day, aiming to post it before 10am local time. I’m not going to get legalistic about this. If I’m late, or even miss a day, I won’t beat myself up. If writing doesn’t actually get me out of bed, at least it will be waking my mind up and giving me a push in the right direction. I doubt that any of my daily posts will be as long as this one, maybe I’ll only manage a sentence or two some days, and I don’t know how ‘Christian’ my posts will be either, they will simply reflect my thought processes as I wake up.
This is an experiment. A challenge. I don’t know what I will get out of it. I don’t know if it will have any value to you. But I will put my trust in the Lord and take this step of faith.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. ‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord , ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.’
Psalm 91 NIVUK