Poured Out

Another rainy gray day. It seemed to be wearing on me. I just wasn't my usual "up" self. People noticed. I couldn't explain when people kept asking what was wrong or why was I down. Nothing was wrong. I even kept praying, "Lord, I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm asking for Your presence. Give me joy." But it wasn't an instantaneous change. I just felt empty. Used up. Drained. Poured out.

I spent the afternoon in solitude, which was good and bad. It was a temptation to feel alone, mixed with the peace to just sit still. A welcome reprieve I hadn't asked for, but was determined to take advantage of. I made myself productive and was proud of the work I'd gotten accomplished. Never mind the swarming chaos that surrounds life right now. I can overlook it when I remind myself it is but temporal.

I ventured out to the grocery store in what seemed to be a break from the rain. I enjoyed my time void of any distractions or disruptions. No calls, texts, visitors. I didn't so much as see one person I knew. I managed to go through the entire store without so much as uttering a word. As I entered the checkout, I didn't even attempt to investigate which lane would be the fastest. I simply chose the first one I came to and without thinking, I patiently waited my turn. I wasn't in a hurry. Plus the rain had started again. I had no where to be so it was just me and a cart full of groceries waiting to be called upon.

The cashier spoke not a word either. The awkward silence was nearly killing me. Even as I stood there, I was mad at myself, usually determined to make eye contact and exchange pleasantries. But even as I stood there searching, digging, grasping for something to say, I was coming up empty. Dumbfounded. Is this what it's like to be shy? It was truly a new experience for me.

Then it happened. A simple mishap at the checkout seemed to cause us both to speak. Now we were laughing at the silly plight. I found myself being so thankful for the broken silence. It was the first words I'd spoken in nearly 3 hours. I was still disappointed in myself for not making a point to share joy with the cashier, and being forced to rely upon an inconsequential grocery item to spark conversation. Nevertheless, I couldn't beat myself up anymore.

There are times life feels as if you're living outside yourself. Merely on the outside watching, seemingly out of control of any of your own actions. Today was one of those days for me. What I realized is its okay for me to not always be "up" or be meeting the grandiose expectations I place on myself. It's okay for me to enjoy the solitude and find peace there. I also learned I can remain completely uninvolved, unneeded, and even silent. God doesn't need me. He chooses me. It is I who need Him. And in these times that feel dreary or gloomy, He reminds me of my utter reliance upon Him as my sufficiency for everything. Like rain watering the earth, He satisfies my soul. When I seek it from nowhere and no one else but Him, He fills me to the point of overflowing, the point where I can once again be poured out.


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