Just Ask

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Our lives have meaning. That’s an absolute truth. But there are times our efforts in life lack meaning. There are seasons, perhaps, where we don’t contribute much, embrace our full potential, or use our gifts productively because we don’t know what we’re doing and we don’t ask for direction. We want to pour out, but we ourselves are too thirsty. We get stuck in a rut.
The graphic above pictures an excerpt from a song I wrote as a plea to my Source when I hadn’t written in a long, long time. Recently I was reflecting on these lyrics that have helped “un-rut” me during some dry times and began contemplating the following points. I thought about thirst and its remedy. I was reminded I have plenty of water at my disposal… I simply need to ask for it.
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1. We have to ask for what we truly need.
Sometimes we move in vain because our motives are misguided and dishonorable.
We can want success. We might fear failure. We can want money. We may be anxious about lacking financial security. We might chase a title so we can demand respect. We can pursue a relationship to secure a status or fill a personal void, perhaps. We may work hard and acquire those fabulous things, and that’s beautiful, but what will we do with them then? Pat ourselves on the back for a goal well accomplished, realize we’re as empty as before, and keep running after the next/better/more?
Instead of asking for visible or tangible things, what if we asked for wisdom? That’s an uncommon request. What about direction, guidance, strong judgment, or discernment? Image-1-1.jpgIf we sought as or more diligently to obtain those qualities, we’d probably make more effective decisions, and spend our time living more focused, purposeful and fulfilling lives.

2. Asking saves us time & trouble.
I’m honestly learning myself that we don’t have to expend and exhaust ourselves trying to figure out (on our own) what we’re supposed to do with our lives–in general, day-to-day, all of the above. We waste too much time running, walking, and crawling in circles when we could reach out for guidance and up for a lift. We pursue things that don’t align with God’s perfect plan for our lives. We just do what we feel like doing, or we do nothing because we don’t feel like it (guilty). Then, when our (non)efforts don’t totally pan out, we get angry, upset, or confused and find ineffective (and usually destructive) ways to cope.
3. We have to ask because we don’t have all the answers… but we have access to the One who does.
 So, if you want to know your purpose or how to live, ask the One who created you. First, get to know Him, then chat about what He had in mind when He decided you should exist. He already knows what He has for you and how he wants to prosper and not harm you. But we make ourselves too busy to sit down and converse, ask questions, listen intently, respond when necessary… This quality time and conversation fills us up–quenches our deep thirst for the answers we attempt to get in so many different places.
He shakes His head, “Child, if only you knew….” If only we recognized the access we have.
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We can literally just ask our Creator. Starting the dialogue is as simple as saying, “Hey, I believe you exist and you are who you say you are, and I trust you even though I can’t see you (that’s called faith, btw). Since I accept that you know best, can you lead me? My feelings/nature don’t seem to know how to get where we’re supposed to be going…” If you don’t even know you can talk to Him, you likely won’t ask Him anything… But I promise you can and you’ll want to.
But, anyway… Get to know the One who knows it all and become vulnerable enough to ask for wisdom and direction. Tell Him where you are and what you want. We all get thirsty. We’ve all been in a place (or will land in a place one day) where we realize we’ve gotten off track or lost all sense of meaning. That’s the space where we recognize we’re in need. And if we land there enough, we’ll know what we’ve been drinking doesn’t really satisfy.

Thirsty Soul

A few years ago, I went through a particularly rough period where I feared my creative bones were beginning to atrophy. Something had trapped my artistic flow, leaving my soul unbearably parched. Dramatic… I know.. But that’s how I felt. I hadn’t written any songs in what had seemed like centuries.

It took most of my freshman year to realize that I wasn’t necessarily lacking inspiration, willingness, time, or diligence in my craft. The truth is, I couldn’t have written anything of substance even if I had ignored all other responsibilities and activities to focus on my music. It wouldn’t suffice to say I had fallen away from my passions or lost touch with my gifts. My thirst for those creative juices had gone unquenched because, ultimately, I had been distant from my Source.

Typically, when I struggle to find peace and joy or feel especially unfulfilled with my day-to-day routine–trapped in an unproductive cycle, taking up space without lending anything of real value to myself and those around me–it’s because I’ve neglected my soul care.

Let me explain the process… The Creator designs us and designates specific gifts/qualities/traits/talents that allow us to fulfill the purposes He desires for our lives. Still, we choose whether or not we employ those attributes to grow personally, physically, spiritually, financially, etc.; maximize our impact; empower others; and build a lasting legacy. The best way to know what we are to accomplish, how we should live, and whom we ought to reach, for instance, is to commune and converse with the Mastermind, himself–the One who graciously bestows the vision and the resources, in the first place. Without this connection, we’re lost.

I couldn’t write without direction, and I couldn’t receive instruction because I wasn’t listening. I had nothing to bear because I wasn’t replenishing my spirit with positivity, hope, love, healing…truth. God, my Source, is all of those things to me. I need to spend time reading the words He’s inspired, seeking His wisdom, asking Him questions, allowing stillness and letting Him break the silence. I need Him to remind me of all the ammo I’ve hidden in my heart for the mind battles that never cease. I need Him to expose my weaknesses, reveal His sovereignty, and restore my strength. My Source, alone, refills my once depleted cup to overflow with peace, joy, passion and purpose. Once this revelation sunk in, I was finally able to write Another Verse.

…and I can tell that I’ve been distant

and I’m yearning for your presence

sweet communion that we used to have

where I could tell you anything

and knew you wouldn’t laugh at me

you take me seriously

’cause I know my heart’s got issues

and you’re faithful enough to fix ’em

and in this dryness

I’m drinking everything but living water

please, fill me up

quench my thirst

give me another verse

and help me sing it right.

© Maya E. Hairston, 2013