Looking out the window, I can see the trees in Denny Park. The green leaves are turning into bright yellows, reds, and oranges.
Temperatures are dropping, and as I watch all the Seattleites walking past the park, it’s obvious that all the sweaters and boots have been brought out of storage!
Oh, and by the way, this also means cold and flu season is upon us. And by us, I mean it’s upon me.
I’m currently sitting on the couch next to a box of tissues, wrapped in a blanket, wishing my fever would go away, as I write this blog post.
I usually have several ideas to write about. It’s usually more difficult to pick which topic rather than trying to come up with one. Maybe it’s the fever, but I have had a difficult time figuring that out this time. I’ve been tossing around several different ideas on what to share this month.
Should I write something related to fall?
I did just recently discover a Starbucks hack for non-coffee drinkers who want to jump on the pumpkin cream bandwagon. It’s an Iced Chai Tea Latte with pumps of pumpkin spice and vanilla, topped with pumpkin cream.
But maybe focusing on the ending of summer isn’t that interesting.
Should I write something inspirational about change and seasons?
I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change this year, new opportunities and open doors that I’m so very thankful for.
But maybe that’s only interesting to me. They are my open doors, after all. Maybe readers will find that subject uninteresting as well.
There are a lot of different topics appropriate for this time of the year. But as I sit here sneezing in front of my computer, I’m finally realizing what I think fits the most. And it just so happens to be what I’m struggling with at the moment.
What should we do when we feel like doing nothing?
This won’t come as a shock to anyone who’s written for a blog before, but there are days when I simply don’t feel like writing blog posts. Kind of like today. I would rather take some NyQuil and go back to sleep. Yet, here I am pounding away on my keyboard anyway.
It’s a little something called responsibility.
That is an important little word we actually like to use. That is, until we don’t feel like being responsible.
I know you can relate.
As students, wives, moms, ministers, employees, employers . . . sometimes we do the things we must, regardless of how we feel.
Because some things don’t care about our feelings.
In I Samuel, we find the story of Hannah. Elkanah “had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.”
Every year, Hannah went to the house of the Lord with her husband to worship.
“And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.”
Read that again.
Her adversary provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because of her circumstance. She was so impacted that she would weep so long and hard that she couldn’t bring herself to eat.
Can you imagine having that experience every time you went to church to worship?
And this happened “year by year.”
That’s right. This went on for years.
Every time Hannah got ready for church, she wasn’t looking forward to it. She knew what was coming. It was going to another day spent being provoked into fretting and weeping.
Still, regardless of her feelings, Hannah made her way to the temple to worship.
I Samuel records the day the priest, Eli, found her. And, guess what? There she was, weeping.
She was praying.
The Bible says “she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.”
As she wept and prayed, Eli stood by and watched. He saw her mouth moving. He saw the tears streaming. And he saw the bitterness of soul on her face. It was such a sight, Eli thought she was drunk. (I bet you’re glad your pastor doesn’t jump to conclusions like that!)
Year after year, the same thing.
Over and over again.
But, in spite of the dread she felt every church day, she kept coming.
She kept weeping, sure. But more importantly, she kept praying.
And finally, on this day, Hannah was granted her heart’s desire.
Dig a little deeper into the story and you realize it’s much bigger than Hannah.
You see, Eli’s sons were evil. And, Eli was overlooking it. God’s priests were unfit for service, and he needed a prophet who could not just be a priest and a prophet, but also a judge.
He needed a man that would be raised and live with total dedication to God. It’s really no accident that God waited to answer Hannah’s prayer until she made the promise that she would raise Samuel for no other purpose than to serve God.
Israel needed a Samuel.
David needed a Samuel.
God needed a Samuel. And in order to get Samuel, God had to find a woman who would keep coming to church and keep praying in spite of all the attacks of the enemy, year after year after year.
You see, some things in life (physical and spiritual) require consistency.
Consistency is something that prevails both when we feel great and when we don’t.
Consistency means that regardless of how many seasons change, I’m still here. I’m still showing up. I’m still being faithful. I’m still taking care of my responsibilities.
Consistency means that I may be on the couch in a blanket instead of at my desk, but I still make myself sit up and take care of my responsibilities.
Yes, in the grand scheme of things, a blog post isn’t going to shake the world. And if I decide I’m too sick to write, nobody may notice. But if you’re going to be consistent, you have to be consistent in the little things as well as the big things.
Being faithful in the big things, and not the little things is . . . well, inconsistent.
Consistency means that I still must make time for prayer and devotion, even when I don’t feel good — even when I’m discouraged, battling depression, or maybe I’m just busy.
Consistency requires me to be intentional. Even when I don’t feel like it.
And as Hannah discovered, consistency has great rewards.
Tomorrow, I’ll be glad I did what needed to be done. I’ll be thankful that I didn’t let a temporary state or feeling derail me.
I did it!
I made myself fulfill my responsibilities in this little blog post.
Now, I am going to go to sleep, because tomorrow is filled with more responsibilities. And I know I can do it!