At the beginning of this year something weird happened. I would wake up in the morning just feeling empty. Let me explain. I would feel like there was a hole right inside me. It was the first feeling of awareness that would hit me when i stirred awake. It was scarry but it was there. Something felt missing . It was so bad that after work i dreaded the idea of coming home where the volume of activity would be turned down and without the noise i would be forced to face the “hollowness”! It was not normal and i hoped it would go away. What worried me the most was that hollow spaces have the capacity to attract whatever would fill them and i was unsettled by the thought that this void would find a way to fill itself with something whether it was of my own choosing or not.
The first time i wrote about it was in the omonaikee diaries. My entry on the 7th of January in my journal sounded melancholy where i said;
” Yesterday on my way up the stairs i remembered i was going back to that feeling and suddenly didn’t want to stay at home. This has got to stop... i dont know what it is... i dont like how i feel”.
It was only a week ago i realised what my experience meant and i’ve shared it with a small group of fifteen people since then. Because i’ve told already i feel a little less burdened by it’s message but i’m making the effort to muster the words to retell it here; salvaging every emotion i experienced then from the depths of memory. I have never felt such intense emptiness before! I realise now that God let me feel for a minute in time the void inside me that he fills. The prelude to this account is that i had been studying my bible and while being an act of obedience i wasn’t doing it consistently. In Rick warren’s the purpose driven life he talks about complete and exact obedience. He says “often we try to offer God partial obedience” and God was teaching me that, that cheap way and cheat way of obeying him would not fly anymore.
I had also been praying everyday but not commitedly. Some days it would be a two minute mumble just before i stepped out of the door in which case i’d be one foot outside before some fearful thought would make me scoop my legs off the hallway and retrace them hurriedly into my room to bribe God with a minute of my attention in exchange for a safe and sane day( God de suffer o!). Other days i would pray with a wandering mind and my prayers would trail off into my agenda and plans for the day.Then there would come the ‘fired up on the mountain” days when i would pray till my heart’s peace. My spirit man must have been constipated! Those are not the kind of prayer and bible study habits that would make God entrust you with anything let alone his presence and he stepped back for a whole month and let me feel what he fills. I dont ever want to feel like that again! EVER!
He let me feel first hand the effect of my inconsistent fellowship with him. I felt like He was saying: “Nike your inconsistent bible study wont cut it anymore, your shoddy 5 minute prayers i won”t take anymore. If you want me in your life then step up ”. He may be saying the same thing to you.
“Take more responsibility son, step up, come hither!”
My altar lacked order. I didn’t have a compass to direct my bible reading and for someone who was reading four chapters of the bible a day at age 8 , i should know you need a study plan to help you master inconsistency. I’m going to share some tips from my discipleship training school classes on bible study, they were a checklist for me to work my way back into the seeking most and seeking first the kingdom.
1.Ask God in prayer to open your eyes to see in your bible practical things that make sense to you.
2.Get a bible you understand or like.
Suggestions : The best bible version to choose is the one you understand. The New living version adds simplicity to every verse, it’s like reading your friends journal; The Goodnews version is down to earth; The Amplified version is like reading prose or poetry, it’s lyrical and you pause to marvel at the “phraseology”; The message bible is like being in a radical, charismatic ,christian youth camp. In the pages you can almost see a crazy youth pastor reading it to you with his tinted corn rows and his jeans and Ts probably sporting a crazy slogan like God rocks, if you dont think so you suck!!!.LOL. I just got one and it’s a good reference bible.
3. Find the right tme and place and keep a date every morning.
4. Have a plan. A bible reading plan helps. A daily devotional can do a lot to keep you from wandering aimlessly through a blur of chapters. A prayer plan helps too. A good heuristic is thank him –praise him- ask him- thank him again.
5.Expect to hear from God and keep pen and paper ready to put down the valuable insights He shows you.
6. Do and tell. Do what the bible says and tell somebody else about what God is doing in your life.
Now back to the story. A few days ago, again from the pages of my journal , i wrote :
” this morning i woke up with a desire to do my devotions on my mind. I couldn’t wait to get down to it! Just the awareness of that special feeling was a delight to my soul...”
Once again like i recorded in “memoirs of a different kind” (in my post titled: ”who let the girls out” posted on the 17th of december here), I feel restored back into God’s favour and tended by His approval. I pray for everyone reading this who walks around feeling “hollow” . Pick up from where you left off, commit to a time and keep it. Fashion a bible study plan and work it. Nothing may happen at first but keep at it and that very act of faith will create, enlarge and expand room in your heart for God to live in and room in your mind for his word to fill. When you give him room in your time you’re giving him room in your life.
I usually don’t like sounding spiritual, it’s a social risk i tell ya!Plus i would usually run from them preachy types hmmmmnnn, Hope you endured it though! Mwah!