Falcone's Crossroads

Where This Meets That

The Big Valley: a Spiritual Drought

Life gives us all challenges, and I think we are all challenged according to what we are able to withstand. I am amazed by the strength of many people to endure what they do in their lives.

As for me, God knows I’m weak. And that’s not a bad thing; he made me, of course, and continues to make me through life’s challenges. But it does mean I struggle more against less.

There are perks to being weak. Knowing my weakness, God has mercifully carried me to the spiritual “mountaintop” multiple times in my life, giving me moments of absolute clarity of his existence, dominion, and love.

The mountaintop is full of sunshine and certainty. We can see life so clearly from there, but we can’t stay there yet. It’s a precursor of the promise of the “new earth” so many of us strive for.

The flipside is the big “valley” below.

The valley is surrounded by mountainous obstacles that block out the sun and give no visibility to any future promise but rigorous climbing.

Being weak, I cry out to be carried, and God, in his mercy, has carried me. I think of my children in days of long walking on short legs, begging me to lift them.  Too frequently I do so begrudgingly, falling humanly short of my divine role model father.

The valley forces such reflection which, ideally, forces reaction. Having been to the proverbial mountaintop, I am aware that I am not there and I miss it terribly.  That’s the good thing.

The bad thing is how cloudy spirituality can become in the valley. It’s all too easy for mountains to block out the zest of the mountaintop. When we lose the zest, we muddle it up with lesser things. That can bring danger, for we all innately need relationship with God.

St. Augustine called it a “God-shaped hole” in our hearts. In the valley, we try to cram all kinds of things in its place: ambition, despair, TV, games, cars, clothes, drugs (legal or not), sex, and so on. But nothing can fill it but God.

For too many months now, I’ve been rummaging through the valley, joyless in my faith. Going through the motions. Tired.

I think of the revelations about Mother Teresa after her death. She spent the last many decades of her life in the “valley” yearning for that “mountaintop” that never again came to her in this life. Yet so diligently she continued her hard work of loving God.

What a strong woman. What a saint.

As for me, I am weak and no saint. And yet, as we all are, I was made to be one. The choice is mine as it is yours: climb or lie down?

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3 comments on “The Big Valley: a Spiritual Drought

  1. Shirley Whiteside McCormack
    November 16, 2011

    It is difficult to get everything done when you want to do so much. First important thing after God is to get yourself rested and REMEMBER none of us can do everything we would like to do. We have to categorize the importance of everything we do. One most important thing is to get our rest and take care of our health and do whatever is necessary to do that first. Without our health we don’t feel like doing anything. There are many things we want to do, but we have to postpone those things for another time or just deligate a certain time 1-2 times a week for them. Our families need us, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the family has to do everything that is available to them to do. They too need relaxing time alone to dream their own dreams and do their own thoughts. House and lawn work are also very important things to do and must be done to maintain the value of a neighborhood. Those kinds of things when not our cup of tea, there are lawn people around to do the job. Like housekeeping. Very important. If it gets too far behind, hire someone to catch up with it to work with you and then get a regular routine maintenance time to do it and if weather permits, it needs to be on the calendar just like ballgames, meeting etc. If the routine stuff get neglected to go do fun things all the time,there comes a time that a person gets so deep in things that need to be done that they cannot ever catch up and it will just bog one down into a valley with no way out. You have so many talents and so many obligations that it is very difficult to remain on the mountaintop all the time. Keep in touch with God and he’ll get you out of your valley.
    Love you,

  2. Pingback: My Faith Journey: The Everlasting Supper « Falcone's Crossroads

  3. Pingback: The Man Called Jesus | Falcone's Crossroads

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2011 by in Philosophers' Row and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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