I’m feeling the weight of melancholy today. I woke up with it hanging around my neck, weighing down my eyes, scattered on the floor, splashed on the walls, hazing up the air around me. It’s not new. Maybe it’s the curse of the creative person, or maybe it’s the curse of all those who live under the fall. I don’t know. But it snuck up on me. I stood in the bathroom staring at my face in the mirror, seeing only the scenarios playing out in my head.
A handful of emails I’ve marked as unread in my inbox, all of them asking difficult questions for which I don’t have the answers. A mental list of projects and ideas and thoughts to jot down, all with little boxes absent of check-marks. A sick wife who will single-handedly juggle two kids for most of the day. And this sort of crushing feeling that I’m far behind in a race I didn’t know I was running.
Blink it away. Shrug it off. Hum a tune, and push it to the edges. Save it for a rainy day.
That’s what I’d normally do. But today I’m looking it in the eye. I want to see it for what it is.
I have had good days lately. Good weeks and months, really. A long stretch of good work and seeing God work. A good look at who I am, and who God is and hearing his voice. In fact, of late I have experienced an intimacy with God and a regularity of hearing his voice that is brand new territory for me. So this morning should probably come as no surprise.
A few months ago I started drinking more water, a result of one of the silly pacts I make with myself on a regular basis.
Wake up without hitting snooze. Ride my bike instead of driving. Eat more green things. Read more books Read a book. Seriously…any…book.
Some I follow through with, and some I don’t. But I have been drinking more water. I’ve discovered that the strange byproduct to consuming the amount of water that I really should be, is that I’m more thirsty. (Or maybe not more thirsty, exactly, but more regularly in want of water.)
I used to be able to go for hours—half a day even—without water and then suddenly think, “Ooh, I should probably drink something. Maybe a Coke!” Terrible, I know.
Now I can be completely lost in whatever is in front of me, but as my throat goes dry and my eyes get heavy I suddenly realize that I haven’t had anything to drink in the last hour. My body knows what I need before my mind takes notice.
Rather than acting as a preventative to thirst, drinking more has actually made me more thirsty, more desiring of what is good for me.
Lately I have been drinking deeply of God’s presence and his word and his work in my life. And I think this morning’s melancholy is a case of my soul knowing what I need before my mind has taken notice. I’ve been drinking more, and I’m getting thirsty faster.
Maybe I shouldn’t try to shake this thing off. Maybe I should heed the thirst of my soul and go get a glass.