Have you ever completed an intense task – one that required energy and constant attention – only to come out of the experience feeling … empty?
A decade ago, a minister I knew said this was a normal response to the emotional and spiritual “high” of the project. That even depression can accompany the feelings. And I believed him.
Having just finished directing my first Children’s musical in years, I expected to feel that emptiness. But it never came. And upon reflection, I remember that I never experienced that let-down after the production of “Two from Galilee” that I performed in at Christmas. Strange.
I certainly poured in as much energy into these two projects as I ever did with anything before. Maybe … just maybe, that let-down isn’t as normal as I was led to believe?
And why should it be? Getting back to the happiness vs. joy thing again.
I can certainly understand experiencing that empty feeling when the excitement of the event, the adrenaline rush, is the only thing carrying me. Anyone who does theater or sports can empathize.
But I’m not carried by adrenaline. The joy of the Spirit fills whether things are hurried, harried, or humorous. And it doesn’t go away just because my event is over.
The joy of the Lord is my Strength. Funny how I recited that verse (Nehemiah 8:10) and sang that song all through my growing up years. (We’d sing the last verse with just Hahahahahahahaha ha ha!) But I never truly experienced that strength from that joy until recently.
There is strength there. And it doesn’t ebb and flow like emotions will. It remains. It stands. It fills.
Reminds me of the Donut Man‘s song. Something about living with Jesus is like having a hole in your heart, just like a doughnut.
So those emotional lows I experienced in the past just because a project ended wasn’t actually what should have been the norm. I think it displayed a spiritual need in my life. A need for joy and contentment. Those things that won’t withdraw in day-to-day living. I haven’t “arrived,” but “I press on toward the goal of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” 🙂
Your turn: What is your latest completed project and how did finishing make you feel?