Remedy For The Funk

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Every so often, I get into a funk.
Not the kind of funk where someone says, “Oh, look at his dance moves.” I’m talking about a dark, dank mood filled with thoughts of despondency.
You know what it’s like. You start off fine and before you know it you’re completely consumed in the miry muck of self-pity. You try to pull yourself out but then, before long, you realize you’ve grown accustomed to your self-created sea of dejection.
When that happens, I abandon everything that’s important. I lose sight of how much I love my wife, my family, my work, and my life. And often, I clean forget about the grace, mercy, and direction of the Lord.
And then, I come across a story and poem like this one and I remember Jesus. I remember what’s He’s done for me and who I am in Him. It awakens my gratitude for the Lord, for others around me, and helps me takes steps toward an acceptable mood.
Six week old Fanny Crosby lost her sight in 1820 due to a doctor’s mistake. As she grew, she learned to function as a child and she later thrived as an adult, eventually became well known for her writing of poetry and hymns.
One day, she was in desperate need of $5.00, so she prayed. Shortly thereafter, a stranger came to her door and handed her the exact amount she needed.
She told others, “I have no way of accounting for this, except to believe that God, in answer to my prayer, put it into the heart of this good man to bring the money. It is so wonderful the way the Lord leads me.”
That same day, Fanny Crosby wrote the following:
All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies?
Who through life has been my guide.
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort
Ere by faith in Him to dwell
For I know whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
All the way my Savior leads me
And He cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me strength for every trial
And feeds me with the living bread.
And though my weary steps may falter
And my soul a-thirst may be
Gushing from a rock before me
Though a Spirit of joy I see
And all the way my Savior leads me
Oh, the fullness of His love
Perfect rest in me is promised
In my Father’s house above
When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings it’s flight through realms of day,
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Broken Zipper, Hidden Fly

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There’s nothing quite so humbling, or humiliating, than to be in church with a broken zipper in your fly.

I had just finished my business in the bathroom and I must have gripped the pull tab of my zipper a little too hard. I zipped up but nothing came together. The glorious unity displayed in the joining together of the metal tangs in my zipper did not take place. My pants were undivided permanently, despite my begging and pleading in the moment.

So, I fastened the top of my pants, praising God there was a button that worked, untucked my shirt and pulled it down as far as possible in the front.

My wife was coming to pick me up on the other side of the church building from where I was, so I had to walk through the crowded common area. I tried my best to be inconspicuous, which is hard to do when you’re the campus pastor walking through a crowd in the church building. I noticed a couple of people looking at me strange and wondered if I was not sufficiently covered. That’s when I realized I was walking all hunched over, trying to give the front of my shirt the slack it needed. So I pulled on my jacket, even though it had turned warm, and zipped up the front to help my situation.

I had just made it to our meeting point when my wife sent me a text telling me she was going to be late.

Sigh.

I quickly found an out of the way chair to sit and wait for her to arrive. I placed my backpack in my lap as if it were a shield. I pulled out a book, and pretended to read, hoping people would catch the understanding that I wasn’t interested in conversation. Suddenly, I was surrounded by friends and church members who desperately needed to talk. One of them even needed prayer. I tried to act casual and asked them to sit across from me so we could informally talk.

Finally, everyone left, and my wife finally arrived.

“Hi,” she said. “Would you like to go out to eat?”

“Ah, no,” I replied.

We read in Proverbs 11:2 that Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

I can say that in the moments of my humility (or humiliation) I was very much aware of my every appearance and interaction with others. I considered every step I took and every word I said with precision and accuracy. I thought more about what the other person heard (and saw) and kept direct eye contact with them as much as possible.

I learned two valuable lessons that day.

  1. Wisdom does come from humility.
  2. I’m keeping an extra pair of pants in my office from now on.