Ride It Out
Every day is not going to be a good day. Once after stringing together a few good weeks, I felt my old nemesis…depression…lurking around. Then one morning, after two days of encouraging him to wander on by, he made camp. 1 I responded by staying in bed much longer than usual.
I couldn’t find the gumption to do anything. When I finally got up, I went to my weight room to work out, only to sit there and stare at the ceiling for about ten minutes. Then I kicked my shoes off and walked out. The rest of my morning was equally unproductive, every action a struggle.
So at lunch I did something I have learned helps. Instead of pressing on through a remarkably unproductive and exhausting day…then feeling like a total failure…I hit the retreat button. I found a comfortable chair in a dark room and slept for over two hours. Just ride it out Shane. 2
Make sure God is a part of your life.
After I woke up, I just sat there in the dark listening to myself breathe. Then I headed out. 3Thirty more unproductive minutes later, a little before 4:00 in the afternoon, I pointed my car back towards home. Time to regroup, eat, soak up some cold air, enjoy some solitude, and call it a day. 4
Life is tough. Some days you’re up, some days you’re down. That’s just how it works…at least for me, at least for now. Many call it a time of quiet desperation. You may have experienced that. If not, chances are you will one day. But I know from experience these days won’t last. So what can you do?
Make sure God is in your life equation! 5 Years ago I fought through these spells on my own. There was no God in my life to lean on like there is now. He was there. He was always there. But I made no room for Him. Until one day I did, and quiet desperation just became…quiet, without the desperation.
Even as the storm rages, Ride It Out!
An old baseballer and now preacher friend of mine, Curtus Moak, reminded me a while back, “You know, the apostle Paul had a thorn in his side. A physical illness of some type that God chose not to remove. This may be your thorn. I’ll pray for you. Press on.” 6
In other words, Ride It Out with God’s help. It was some of the best, most real, kick in the pants advice I ever received. If you struggle with depression, know you are not alone and that retreat is not defeat, unless you stay there. Regroup and press on into a new day.
Quietly riding out a storm in life is far less soul crushing than quietly and desperately riding out the storm. There is a big difference. (Maybe read that twice) And remember—the storm is temporary.
Get In The Boat! Do Your Part!
Ride It Out…From Nose to Toes!
Shane Hale is a redeemed & re-purposed professional baseball player and former corporate sales executive. Shane, his wife Michelle, and their three sons live in Mobile, Alabama, USA, where he works as a Realtor. While seeking God’s plan for his life in the summer of 2014, God told Shane to start writing. Today he shares his faith to encourage and inspire others to seek His plan for their lives as well. Check out his blog at http://www.the1sixproject.com.
Footnotes: (1) In other words, depression decided to stay around for a while. (2) Yes, I am fully aware of the countless things I have to be thankful for, which makes these spells even more baffling to me. (3) In real estate job I spend a lot of time riding around looking at property and meeting potential buyers and sellers. (4) For me, breathing in cold air recharges me. (5) Do you seek God, follow Him, talk to Him and listen to what He has to tell you? Do you make Him a necessary part of you life? (6) Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Pictures: Banner: Ride It Out, photo by Shane Hale. (1) Men in Depression, from “Signs of Depression in Men, Bryn Mawr Hospital, 9-23-2022, mainlinehealth.org. (2) The Darkness of Depression, Shutterstock. (3) I Am With You, God’s Word to the Nations, godsword.org.