What am I feeling after the disgustingly ugly win against UConn this past Saturday? As Cajun Man would say on Saturday Night Live, DEPRESSHONE! It's nothing short of melancholy-inducing [cue The Cure music] when you watch your team, supposedly one of the powerhouse Big 10 schools, play so terribly for the second week in a row. SO terribly, in fact, that I'd go so far as to say they didn't deserve to win. That's really difficult for me to admit, because a true fan usually celebrates a win -- ANY win. But at the moment, I'm so down in the dumps I can barely lift my head up to holler a half-hearted 'hail'.
I know that this will pass, eventually. I have hope that, sooner or later, we'll start playing a fantastic game once again and be not just victorious but stunningly victorious. But when I get weighed down like this, it's hard to keep that hope in mind. It's difficult to look ahead to a bright future when you're sullenly sitting amongst the gloom.
Feels almost like real life, doesn't it? We go through waves and troughs, seasons of victory and seasons that feel almost as though we're doomed no matter what we say or do. One moment we're high on a mountaintop, shouting about our joy and happiness, and then next minute we find ourselves in the pit of despair, barely able to hold on, and certainly not able to bring ourselves around to crawling out anytime soon.
What's got you down? There's a reason and a season for it, you know. It could be that someone very close to you recently died, or was diagnosed with something from which they are not going to bounce back. It could be that you were betrayed by someone you thought you could trust. It could be that you're feeling helpless in a situation and don't know what the right thing to do might be, or how to go about doing the right thing if you do know. Life throws us some botched snaps now and then, and it's up to us to catch it anyway, and do the best we can for the rest of the play.
The bible says it like this in Ecclesiastes 3:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun.
A time to be born, and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to uproot.
A time to kill, and a time to heal.
A time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them.
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up.
A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear, and a time to mend.
A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate.
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Often, we wonder why we have to go through trials. I believe it is not just to make us stronger, but so that we can minister to those who are going through similar trials in their lives. When we get through something, we have an experience that will help someone else. When we experience grief or betrayal, we are then able to help someone later on who will experience grief or betrayal. When we experience fear and anxiety, we can help others learn how to conquer it in their own lives. We're called into community. Everything we experience relates us better to someone else. It is our purpose in life to discover those relationships and intertwine ourselves with others. At all times, we should be learning from someone as they teach us and we should be passing our own knowledge along to someone else as they learn from us.
Whatever slump you're in, don't let it keep you from having hope. You WILL get through it. There IS a purpose for it. There IS a positive outlook, even if it doesn't feel like it right now.
When you're lying on the floor in the fetal position, just remember -- you've got nowhere to go but up!
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