Today's Reading: Psalms 5, 38, 41-42
My daughter is a musician.
One of the things she has taught me is this: the hardest time for a performer is after a wonderful performance. That's seems strange, doesn't it? But it is true. "In fact," she said, "this is why so many performers struggle emotionally."
When we are striving for something, battling a challenge or putting our energies into a project, adrenaline is flowing like crazy, giving us energy and acute awareness. After the stress is over, our body naturally tries to balance out again, putting us into a "rest and repose" mode. Often times, this decrease in adrenaline leads to depression, sadness, apathy and malaise.
"The hardest time for a soldier is after a victory."
This is oxymoronic.
An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which opposite or incongruous thoughts stand side by side. For example, "deafening silence" or "jumbo shrimp."
One would think that David, after finally having victory and reuniting the kingdom would be jubilant. But during this time he wrote his some of his most desperate Psalms.
"Why are you so downcast, Soul?" he asks. "Why are you so disturbed within me?"
It is the wise person who observes her own life and notices the patterns of her emotions. It is the wise person who acknowledges his feelings, yet continues to look to God for hope and strength.
It is the wise person who realizes that life is oxymoronic, and yet continues to be loyal, faithful and true to covenants, duties and relationships.
Put your hope in God, the Psalmist tells us. Continue to praise God even when life seems desperate.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
It might seem like an oxymoron, but it is the truth.