Some things are beyond explanation. We know they are true, but when we try to find the words to describe them to others, they slip through our fingers. It’s not simply a matter of searching for more evidence or trying to find someone that knows more than we do, sometimes it’s a matter of accepting the truth of the currently unexplainable. We are also not in control of whether the thing we can’t explain is bad or good – obviously hoping for the latter more often than not.

Down the positive end, sometimes we meet people and things click. We bond instantly over common interests, or feel immediately close through kindness expressed on a difficult day, or maybe meet up through mutual friends. But sometimes, were brought together by something deeper than that. Common interests and friends, and support through a difficult time, are all explainable: those are reasons we might develop a good friendship with people around us during those times. But sometimes the things we thought we needed to begin a friendship aren’t there, at least to start with, and the meaningful conversation we have might be more facetious than we’d initially be comfortable with. Yet, there’s something in the getting to know each other which tells us we want to spend more time together. At these times I thank God for the connection, the courage to dig deeper than what we might initially see in others, and strength to open up more than I might initially.

On the other side of this coin are times we can feel terrible for no discernible reason. Yesterday I attended a training day for our Anglican diocese. I feel blessed that in New Zealand we are allowed to meet together in person, and I had every intention of putting my full effort into embracing the opportunity. The training is a yearly event, a time to gather for fellowship and connection with people from churches all around our region. There are workshops on things like different ways God might be speaking with us, what mission service might hold, and different parts of what worshiping together looks like.

The event was entry by koha (gift) rather than pay to attend, so there was nothing hanging over my head where I felt like I must attend every single seminar or workshop time slot to get the most out of the day. Finding space for silent contemplation, spending time in prayer, or engaging in meaningful conversation with friends seldom seen, were all encouraged as fruitful ways to spend time.

The welcome and opening worship in the morning was a good way to start, and the first session seemed to track nicely. Ater this, lunch was even provided!

That’s when things started to go pear shaped. (And that’s doubly bad for me, because the only fruit I eat are apples and bananas!) My throat became dry, and I realised I was thirsty. Getting a drink of water was a wise course of action, and usually and easy thing to accomplish. Turned out, getting one was a slightly more difficult prospect than I’d told myself. I don’t have an explanation as to why asking for help can be the most difficult thing in the world sometimes. The attendants were kind, they were helpers there to help, yet the demons in my mind reared up and aggressively pushed me away from this thing that would help. I don’t feel like asking for something means I’m failure, I don’t have an aversion to drinking water, but something prevented me from doing what I needed. Now, you might be thinking, “Just go and get a drink of water. It’s simple. Just do it.” But sometimes there is a resistance that takes hold, and I am at a loss as to explain why. I end up in a negative cycle of not being able to do the thing, getting frustrated at myself for not being able to do the thing, over and over again. And let me tell you, having a silent internal struggle with yourself about something you know the solution to is less fun than being slapped in the face with a wet fish.

During these times I am thankful for friends who offer to talk through things with me, or simply sit with me if I’ve run out words.

Sometimes that’s all we can do. Sit with what we don’t know, accept it, and know that that’s ok.

* * *

Are there seemingly simple things in your life that become incredibly difficult sometimes, seemingly for no reason?

Have you had a bite to eat recently today? If not, see if you can find something to lift those energy levels. I’m about to do the same myself.

* * *

Everyone is worthy of time. You are worthy of time. You are worthy of giving yourself time. To think, to breathe, and to simply be.


Cover photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels.


7 thoughts on “Ineffable

    1. Hamish says:

      There is definitely a post’s worth of words on the thoughts that fly around inside my mind during these moments of silence, both intentional and unexpected. Thank you for your encouragement, and I will see if these thoughts turn into a fully fleshed out blog post.

      I trust you are well and ideas are swirling for your writing too. ✨


  1. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet says:

    Yes, Hamish, I find myself procrastinating and dreading doing something that turns out to be very simple. I suspect we all do this sometimes and feel foolish after we easily accomplish the task. This post is very well-written and relatable. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      This is something that my mind often returns to, sometimes to say “But you can do the thing,” and sadly more often to say “You shouldn’t do the thing, look what happened last time!” I very much relate to feeling foolish afterwards, especially if it’s something simple and helpful to going through life. All we can do is take the information onboard and try to leave that negative self perception to the side, I guess.

      Thank you for sharing and reminding me I am not alone in this. 🧡

      Liked by 1 person

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