Waiting for a Feeling
Indulge me as I turn this blog into a public confessional of sorts for just a moment. My confession is this: there are days when I just don’t feel like doing anything. Yes, yes, there are days that dawn only to find me laid out in bed, lazily browsing through Twitter on my iPhone, as I fight the pull of my eyelids, desperately attempting to close again. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, boy, oh boy, it sure does take every ounce of my will power to pull my protesting body out of the warm cocoon of my bed to face the day.
The thing is, if I waited until I felt like getting out of bed on those days, I might just lay there all day! On the mornings when this temptation for hibernation comes upon me, I have to push beyond what I feel, and remind myself of what I know to be true: I have to get out of bed. My kids need me, my husband needs me, and I need to go about doing the many, many things that await me each and every day. Those feelings that urge me to stay in bed are misleading. They promise me the joy of relaxation, while conveniently overlooking how much additional stress a full day siesta would actually cost me. If I stay in bed all day, I’ll inevitably be even more frustrated by the piling up and combining of work that I missed doing on that day. It will feel good in the moment, but eventually, my actions will have cost me, and they’ll undoubtedly come to collect.
All of this leads me to a thought I want to challenge you with today: if you wait to do something until you feel like doing it, you may never do it! More than that, if you wait until you don’t feel like doing something to stop doing it, then you may never stop! Are you facing temptation over an addiction you have struggled with for some time? You may feel defeated today, thinking that your continued tendency to feel like indulging in that particular thing equates to failure to have truly overcome it, even if you aren’t indulging every time you feel like doing so. I want to suggest that if you’re waiting for feelings to line up and make you feel sure of your conviction, you may never feel like you’ve conquered your bad habit.
Let me clarify. If you’ve been fighting a battle with fear and anxiety, and have stopped feeding those instincts with your time and energy, but still feel the urge to panic and fear when a situation arises, you are not failing at overcoming the issue of anxiety! On the contrary, being able to separate action from feeling is a huge accomplishment! Don’t feel discouraged that the feelings are still there. Instead, be encouraged that you are able to overcome your feelings, disabling them from having the power over you that they once did. Once you can accept that feelings are meant to stay in their place and not overtake the rest of your instincts, you can find freedom. When you no longer feel bound by your feelings, but simply recognize their presence in a tempered and appropriate position, you have already overcome quite a bit!
Today, stop waiting for feelings to line up as a gauge for your level of ambition. Feelings are so misleading, and can be the culprit of far too many missed opportunities or old conquered habits indulged in. Don’t let your feelings be your guide. Let God and the truth of His Word be your guide, and eventually, you may even find that the feelings with follow fact, instead of the other way around.