Someone earlier today asked me for an inspirational quote. Let me digress for a moment on the subject of that word--"inspirational." I am not a big fan. I'm trying to think of some context in which it is regularly used which would not cause me to gag a little, and I can't think of a good one, though I'm sure it exists. In general, though, that word translates in my head to "syrupy sweet but lacking in real meaning." As in inspirational music (ie, Michael Card or Steve Green). Or inspirational greeting cards. Am I really supposed to feel inspired to do anything of substance if I get a card that reads, "May your day be filled with cheer and hope lasting you through the next year." Wow, all my problems have just been erased by that inspiration! I'm sure I now sound like an incredibly pessimistic and cynical person, and I'm really not. I just can't be inspired by something that markets itself specifically to inspire me.
Anyway. Back to the inspirational quote I was asked for. I actually do keep a file of great quotations that I come across in different places. So I went hunting for that file and read through. I came across one that actually, well, inspired me.
"Such strange creatures are we that we probably smart more under blows which never fall upon us than we do under those which do actually come." (Charles Spurgeon)
Wow. Is this ever true of me. On Sunday, after the BFN and a long morning at church (surrounded by children, or course), I was in a pretty foul mood that dissolved into a crying session with the P in the car on the way home. And what it was about was not so much the BFN, or the children, or the mothers, but just the thought of how many more months or years of this I could endure. I had been feeling quite upbeat and happy on Saturday, only to collapse emotionally on Sunday. But any peace and acceptance I reach is always so fragile. Which I think is a good thing in the long-run, as the emotional crashes remind me that I really can't do this on my own--without other people and especially without God.
In that moment in the car, as I bemoaned my fear of the coming months of so many ups and downs, P gently reminded me that I don't need to get through the next months. I don't even need to get through tomorrow. I just need the grace to make it through today--through right now. I was smarting under blows which hadn't yet fallen upon me, so to speak. And they're always bigger and scarier in my imagination than the blows that actually come. In fact, the blows that come are usually difficult as much for what they imply for the future as for what they imply in the present.
Go and be inspired.