Have you driven on I-69 recently? If you have, you have likely felt stuck. I know I have. You get onto the highway and immediately you get stuck. The red lights are everywhere and you find yourself in a parking lot called I-69. It becomes quite the challenge to get anywhere. In fact, you don’t get anywhere, at least not anywhere fast.
Have you ever felt like that spiritually? I know I have. It can be easy to feel stuck. Maybe prayer doesn’t feel the same. Perhaps Scripture isn’t speaking to you in the same way it had in the past. It could be that you’re just feeling a lack of motivation to serve. If any of these examples are where you are, I understand. I’ve been there too.
I have lost track of the times I have met with my spiritual director with these concerns. As Henri Nouwen wrote, “A spiritual director is someone you ask to hold you accountable for exercising the disciplines and practices of the spiritual life. Spiritual direction, the ancient practice and provision for receiving such needed help, offers prayerful presence, wise counsel, and careful guidance by a spiritual friend who is sensitive to the movements of the Spirit and familiar with the disciplines of the traditions.”
My spiritual director has gently, yet directly, encouraged me to keep seeking God even in those times when I feel stuck. She has invited me to pray even when I don’t feel like it, to open the Bible and read even when I’m tired, to maybe allow myself extra rest if I’m feeling too exhausted to open my prayer book at night, and to simply fall back into God’s grace time and again.
Saint Teresa of Avila, the 16th century Spanish mystic, wrote, “The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs your heart.” This is a good word to us. Consider what stirs our hearts to love and move toward that.
If you are feeling stuck, don’t worry. Simply try again and allow the grace of God to wash over your soul.
May you keep this reading from Scripture on your mind today:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,” Isaiah 43: 18-19 (NIV).
May God make a way in your soul through the wilderness. May you continue to seek God even when you might feel stuck.