Ever hit a dry patch?
I sure have. And not just on my winter wind exposed skin.
Sometimes, a book you are reading, perhaps one that is acclaimed or one that just plain looked interesting, becomes really, REALLY, dull. And you wouldn’t care if you kept reading that section because it is just that awful. Or you just can’t focus.
Maybe it will get better. Maybe you know it will get better. But, sometimes you don’t. There seems no light at the end of the dullness.
Okay, here is an example… I once tried to read War and Peace, and I got through the first two or three sections okay, but then I hit another “war” chunk. And the plot seemed to slow. Actually, in my head it disappeared. Was there still stuff happening? Oh, yes. But did I care? Not especially. I kept trying, but not very hard. Then, the end of summer came, I started Nuc Med and I returned the book to the library. I don’t know what I missed out on. But at the time, I figured it couldn’t have been much. From reading about the book, I know this is untrue, but at the time… Oh, goodness did I ever think it was a waste of time.
A better example might be when I read Oliver Twist. It seemed good initially, but I lost it in the middle. Between the older English style and the plot line, I thought I had lost all interest. I put the book down for months. When I picked it back up, though I discovered it wasn’t so bad. It was actually quite enjoyable. I don’t know why I put it down in the first place, in retrospect. The area of boredom seems quite short.
This brings me to my current dry patch. And it is a good one.
I am doing a read the Bible in chronological order plan (compliments of YouVersion). Anyway, it is cool to read things as they happened-ish and such. However, I am in the midst of the Israelites and the Tabernacle building and law giving. To be honest, although the laws are sometimes entertaining to me (come on, all of the skin disease stuff is actually clever with respect to infection control), there are only so many times I want to know how many of them there were or how big things were measured and such. Last year, I read through the Bible in the order it is published, so you got intermittent breathers, but now, it is kind of clumped. And I kind of want to gouge my eyes out.
Don’t take that the wrong way. I get that it is all in there for a reason. And there are many lessons to be learned about the adventures of the Israelites. And it most definitely shows the value placed on detail by God. That and that turning our backs on God is never a good idea.
The good part is that I know better stuff (well, stuff that doesn’t lull me into snooze mode) is coming and the really awesome stuff is still to come too. That helps with getting through the not so cool stuff. Plus, I know God can teach me through the no so interesting to me things, because they are interesting to Him.
It is frustrating though… To lose motivation and to feel like going through the motions just for the sake of doing it and getting through. I have to keep refocusing. Reminding myself of the purpose in the writings and my purpose in reading it. Praying for God’s direction and for Him to speak to me through what is written.
Other awesome part is that I know soon the course of things switches up a little and there will be more stories and tangible (to me) lessons. It will be easier to swallow, but no more or less important.
Dry patches don’t just happen in books. They happen in life too. We just can’t put life down and start a new one. We don’t always know how things turn out to get through the next twenty pages. Look at the Israelites; they wandered the desert for 40 years. That is quite a dry patch (har har har). But, there were awesome things to come.
All that to say, while I wait for the computer to tell me what to do with my life for the next 5 years, I need to trust that I will come out of it. That this is just a dry patch. And that I need to enjoy what is happening while I go through it. Figure out its significance; find the entertainment value or just plain plug away at it. And I think I am doing that. Most of the time. Fairly well.
All I need is some lotion. Which is coming at this time in the form of looking forward to scripture to come (for the Bible dry patch) and in the form of good books, music, company and lots of prayer. It takes time, but God resolves things in His own time. And most books get better with time too.
Here is a beautiful song that reminds me to be patient and wait for God’s timing. It makes me cry from time to time. It is on my learn to play on guitar list.
How do you take care of dry patches in your reading, quiet time or life? Any miracle “lotions” you have come up with?