There are days.
Days when I feel like I used to feel, back when I used to feel bad quite often.
I know why I feel this way, usually. It has to do with cycles and hormones and medicine designed to stabilize and replace. In an ideal world, all this would work perfectly, all the time. But this is no perfect world.
So here I am, dealing with side effects and after effects and just plain old effects of having arrived at a season of life earlier than most.
I could be dealing with worse things. Much worse things. I know that, and I’m thankful.
Still. I don’t like feeling this way.
I text Randy: “Feeling baddish.”
He texts back: “Sorry.”
He knows—we both know—this too shall pass. The sun will come out in my heart tomorrow, or very possibly after lunch.
Pardon the cliché, but it really is the nature of the beast.
When I’m feeling like this, for no other reason than my own temperamental body chemistry, there’s something I do that helps. I don’t do it every time, because sometimes my moping exceeds my ability to think outside myself very well.
But I did it today.
You’ve probably heard the famous line, “I think, therefore I am.” It’s attributed to Rene Descartes, a 17th-century French mathematician and philosopher.
I’m not an expert in math or philosophy. I will never come close to developing anything like the x-y plane (also known as the “Cartesian” coordinate grid) that Descartes developed to meld algebra and geometry. Nor can I tell you what he meant when he said, “I think, therefore I am.”
I can, however, use his words as a springboard to a little strategy I’ve come up with for massaging some good out of my funky mood.
“I feel, therefore I pray.”
There are plenty of people around me who are struggling. Maybe they’re flat worn out. Maybe they have deep hurts. Maybe they have suffered great loss. Maybe they look far out into the future and see nothing but gray.
Like me, they feel bad. Unlike me, their feelings aren’t as transient.
When I’m feeling like I am today, I turn my thoughts toward them. And then I pray.
I don’t always know what to pray, what they specifically need right now. So I ask God to provide for them, to help them feel His presence in a special way, to comfort them when they are sad, to give them wisdom and grace, to bring people to them who will encourage their hearts.
God knows what they need, and He knows what I need, too. He knows what it sometimes takes to push me out of my own head and into the world of other people’s suffering.
I feel, therefore I pray.