In the last couple of months I'll admit to having felt a little bit of a desire to just give up... on all things. I've tried hard to fix things in my life, and with little result, and I've been so very frustrated and disappointed with myself. I haven't honestly been too good to myself lately. I've been in despair--full of hopelessness. I've wallowed in self-pity and regret. I've wished for things to be so different, when sometimes things just can't be. Not everything can be changed. Although I'll admit that with God, all things can be. I'll never limit the power of God to change a life. However, it can be so hard trying to what seems to be no avail. There again, that's where patience can be a virtue. Waiting patiently for what you want can sometimes be so very discouraging.
I read a book by a man named Bob Blackford back in the winter. A friend had pointed it out to me and so I ordered it online, got it, and read through it in a flash. I couldn't put it down. The book was called "Heaven's Back Row". Anyone who gets a chance to read this book should. It's a tremendous testimony. But I will admit it is a somewhat sad testimony at that. It's one of the very few books that can actually make me break down in tears crying.
When I finished reading the book, I decided to email the author (His email address was given at the back of the book). He replied back to me, "Life is hard, but sometimes you get a patch of light. Keep falling forward, Brandon."
I love what Mr. Blackford told me. Life is hard. Of course we all know this. There are so many stumbling blocks to get in our ways. We all do things we live to regret. We all face challenges. We all struggle with something. Life is hard, beyond a shadow of a doubt. But whenever we feel that things can't get any worse, oftentimes we do get a patch of light--something that lifts us up and reveals to us that better days are indeed ahead. Things can't stay bad forever. But even if they do, we have a great hope that will shine upon us in our darkest of hours. We are given a hope from God that will pick us up out of the gutter and give us the strength to carry on. And when we get that hope, that strength, that patch of light, we pick ourselves up and continue along our way. If we are true followers of Christ, we will always move forward, trying to do God's will and obeying His ways. No doubt, we will always have our falls though. "Keep falling forward, Brandon." I think that's tremendous advice. In other words, don't give up. Keep on trying, no matter how hard things get, no matter how frustrated I get, no matter how hopeless I become. "Keep falling forward." I think I'll always remember that.
At times, I do feel that everything in life is meaningless. What's the point really to most things? Nothing in this world is incorruptible. Nothing is absolute. Nothing lasts forever. So, what's the point? Anything of this world worth chasing after is meaningless. It is a chasing after the wind--something that even if you ever do manage to grasp hold of, it will inevitably slip right through your fingers. The only real thing worth chasing after is a relationship with Christ. It's the only real thing that matters. Everything else is meaningless. That is, everything is meaningless without God.
I didn't go to church last Sunday morning. I'd been holding a grudge against God and a few others at my church for a few things, and I just honestly felt no desire at all to go. I ended up feeling bad about that decision the whole day through. I had also been skipping the Wednesday evening services as well as our Sunday evening services, both of which I had formerly attended regularly. I forced myself to go to our last Wednesday night service. And I'm glad I did go. The lesson was on a passage from Ecclesiastes. The lesson in general gave me that patch of light I had been looking for. I had been feeling so hopeless about everything. I was wanting to give up and just drift for awhile. Then I was reminded that my thinking was right, only if God was not in the equation. Well, God is in the equation. It's not all meaningless when I have Him in my life. It's all worthwhile. Life is indeed worth the living.
In the last month or two I do believe I've fallen quite hard. Not as bad as I could have, but certainly more than I should have. But I think I will continue to move forward. I'm sure I'll fall a bunch more times before all is said and done, but it's the goal that has to be kept in mind. "Keep falling forward." I think that's wonderful advice for anyone. Giving up and turning away never is the answer. And in our tiredness, God will always give us that patch of light so we can keep falling forward. He will never allow us to bare more than we can withstand.