When life is going well, it is so easy to stay motivated. Really, there is little risk. If your hopes and dreams don’t come true, no big deal. Life is good anyway, right? But those times when life isn’t going great are a different story. Those are the times when we are pinning everything we have the strength to muster on our hopes and dreams … and if they fail then we feel like we have nothing.
Droughts come in many different ways. There is the literal drought where rain doesn’t fall for a long period of time. But there are other kinds of droughts as well – emotional droughts, success droughts, encouragement droughts or even love droughts.
There is a danger when we are in periods of drought to begin to doubt our purpose and plan for the future. We ask ourselves questions like, “If I was really on the right path, would I be experiencing this drought?” We get the idea that the right path would be the yellow brick road of happiness and success. The complete opposite of drought.
In periods of drought it is easy to start believing in mirages. I have heard stories of people in the desert who believe they see waterfalls and they walk for hours only to discover the waterfall was just an imagination. They veered off their original path to find something that was never there to begin with. And, at that point, they are several miles off path and need to back-track to even get back where they originally started.
Emotional droughts have that same temptation. Have you ever been working toward a plan when you unexpectedly face a time of drought? Although re-evaluation at this point may be helpful, we often scrap the original plan far too quickly in order to chase the mirage or the proverbial “easy button,” “get rich quick scheme” or overnight weight-loss solution. Sorry to break the news to you but none of these really exist – there is no easy button to success, you can’t legally and ethically get rich overnight and you can’t lose lots of weight in a week either (and keep it off).
Droughts happen to every single one of us, so what do we do when those doubts start to creep in?
When I was younger I actually believed that there was an answer to that question. I believed that life was just like an if-then statement in math class. If you can find the right formula and do it, then you are guaranteed the intended outcome. Unfortunately, the older I get I am realizing that life is definitely not an if-then statement. Life is unpredictable. We can do everything within our power to raise our children the right way and sometimes they make really bad decisions and live a lifestyle contrary to what they were taught. We can live a healthy lifestyle – eating right, exercising and abstaining from bad choices, and still get cancer or heart disease. We can pursue an ethical business and make wise decisions and still lose our company when the market changes unexpectedly. There are no guarantees in life. We can be doing everything right and still experience times of drought. Sigh!
That being said, there is no one answer of what to do when you experience doubt in the drought. As I see it, there is a process that starts with re-evaluation. Sometimes we are on the wrong path and we need to change things up. Sometimes the drought is caused by a bad decision. But if you take the time to evaluate and still think you are on the right path, then it just takes sticking to it and not losing faith.
C. S. Lewis defines faith this way:
“Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.”
Sometimes we just have to hold on and keep walking even though we are walking in a desert devoid of water and our throat is parched beyond belief. That’s what it really means to be undaunted and to have faith.
When you experience doubt in the drought, don't succumb to the temptation to chase the mirage. Click To Tweet That will only move you farther from your original plan. Have faith and keep going. There will be rain again if you have faith and don’t give up!