Overcoming the Roller Coaster Syndrome
by: Mary Elder-Criss
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (7) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6,7
When you go through a period in your walk, where your passion for Him and His Kingdom seems to have simply fizzled out, and canít be jump-started, you may be going through a case of the Spiritual Blahs. This syndrome often follows a session where you seem to have been on an Extreme High. Defining Spiritual Blahs: When itís an effort to even climb out of bed, and face your daily tasks, no more find time to read the Bible and pray. When getting up and going to church seems like a momentous task. When you feel like God must be busy on another line, cause He sure isnít answering your calls. You begin to lose the desire to press on, and become apathetic. Apathy begins to happen when Christ and oneís faith is a faith of convenience.
Oftentimes this happens when our Christian walk falls into a category that resembles a roller coaster ride...all highs and lows...moments of extreme joy, where we seem to be riding the pinnacle, only to be followed by a case of crashing lows. We will, as Christians, have times of walking on the mountaintops, as well as the valleys, but if your relationship is one that reflects a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows, there is something wrong. We must be grounded, or we will be in danger of being uprooted, when the winds of trouble begin to blow.
When I was young, and learning to cook, I had to learn to follow directions regarding the temperature settings. Turn the burner or the oven up too high, and most of the time, your finished product would be burnt on the outside, but not thoroughly cooked on the inside. To produce a worthy meal, it was necessary to follow the heating directions, which means taking a little more time, and letting the heat permeate, so that every particle is done to perfection. Turn the heat down too low, and youíre going to wait a lot longer to eat.
The same can be said of our Christian walks. It is a good thing to be on fire for the Lord, but many times that is only an emotional response, and not one that is grounded in faith. People that go 100% without taking the time to read their Bible, and pray, and wait for God to lead them, often burn out very quickly. Not allowing the Holy Spirit to permeate you fully enough, will produce a Christian that is only lukewarm. Most foods meant to be eaten hot, and served lukewarm are not satisfying. Many times, people are in a hurry, and not willing to wait on Godís timing. We think that just because we donít see it happening in our timing, it isnít going to happen at all. However, becoming an effectual minister of Godís word involves a growing process. Letting Him refine you, and cleanse you of the impurities in your life, will allow you to be grounded in a deeper faith that will cause you to stand strong when tribulations arise.
Many times people get caught up in emotionalism, and see that as a true walk with God, because they ďfeelĒ a certain way. However, the old adage, which states, ďWhat goes up, must come down,Ē can be applied to emotionalism as well. God gave us our emotions for a reason, and using them to worship Him is a good thing, but simply relying on our ďfeelingsí will often cause us to become burnt out.
A true relationship with God is built upon faith. It is grace through faith that saved us, it is faith that keeps us. Faith is waiting on God despite of what you see. Itís not about how you feel, itís about how you decide to feel. Worship is a reflection of how big you feel God to be. Learning to praise God when times are hard, when our bodies are weary, when our heart is heavy, and our spirit has a bad case of the blahs defines a relationship built on faith. Only then will we be able to stop the rollercoaster, and get off.