Recently, my husband asked me how I was doing, and I responded, “I’m ok.”
“Just ok?,” he replied.
“Yeah, I’m just feeling kind of … ‘blah’ today.”
There was nothing really wrong … I had had a fairly smooth, productive day with no major mishaps or baby messes. Yet, something just didn’t feel quite right. I had a dull, foggy, joyless kind of disposition, which at first glance didn’t seem necessarily wrong. I wasn’t getting angry or frustrated, and I wasn’t depressed or sad. I was simply, “blah.” After pondering this, I began realizing that although my actions were not displaying sinfulness, this attitude was stemming from a root that was not good and not godly.
In scripture, it’s crystal clear what the disposition of a Christian ought to be. Psalm 32:11 says, “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.”
Isaiah 61:10a, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness…”
And Paul says in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
That word “always” in the last verse doesn’t give us a whole lot of wiggle room for other options besides rejoicing. It doesn’t give allowance for bad days or for any other reason we might not feel like rejoicing; no caveat for “blah-ness” here. In fact, it is just the opposite! We are told to rejoice in the Lord even in the worst of circumstances! (2 Cor 6:10; Col. 1:24; 1 Pe. 1:6).
So, now that we’ve established that blah-ness has no place in our lives as Christians, where does it come from, and how do we get it out?
I came to the realization that having blah-ness in my spirit ultimately comes from a lack of focus upon Christ. When my eyes are fixed upon Him, there is no room for anything other than joy and delight in Him! When I have a dull, dry, emotionless disposition, it is a good sign that I have not been dwelling on the goodness, beauty, and grandeur of God. Instead, my eyes have been turned onto myself, and I have allowed the everyday tasks and happenings of life to become mundane and cause a listlessness of soul. It is amazing how little it takes to become distracted from our focus on Jesus. But it is also amazing how, when we purpose to fix our hearts upon Him and His goodness, even the smallest of things can open our eyes to more of His beauty, creativity, and life. Simply taking the time to take a peek outside at the bright blue sky and budding flowers or pausing to listen to the birds chirping or my son’s happy babbling evokes a deep joy in the Lord and a gratitude for the blessings He so abundantly showers on me. In these moments, blah-ness has no place.
When I put on worship music and praise Jesus, He is at the forefront of my mind, and the little cares of this world fade into the background. Meditating on Him and His work can take the most commonplace of things or circumstances and turn them into times of richest fellowship with Him! This is most definitely a discipline that has to be grown and established. It doesn’t come naturally. It is easier to go about day-to-day life and have an attitude that is neither here-nor-there. It doesn’t take much to fall into the rut of self-centeredness. But with careful, deliberate moment-by-moment decisions to turn our gaze upward, continually asking the Lord to conform our minds and hearts to His, we can rise out of this selfish rut and into a life radiating with the joy of the Lord!
When we truly believe – with head and heart knowledge – the glory and worthiness of Jesus to receive our all, this will be made manifest in every area of our lives. Whether it is the words we speak, the attitudes we exude, or the actions we portray, He will shine brightly in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our existence. I love this quote by St. Augustine: “There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.”
Oh, that this would be the defining mark of our lives – rejoicing to Him, of Him, and for Him! And that when others observe various moments of our day, they would see Jesus and desire Him because of His joy in us that cannot be quenched!