All About Plateaus

When I decided to make a conscious effort to focus on my spiritual side earlier this year, I imagined steady growth and learning.  If my journey were charted on a line graph, the line would only move up.  Instead, my progress looks more like a depiction of stock market fluctuation – minus the extreme highs.

Grand Canyon – Kaibab Plateau

I’ve written about my lack of progress before, but have stayed on the path and continued to explore God’s word and my own soul.  This week, I can see for miles from the plateau I’m lounging on.  I can look back and see that I have travelled a long way.  I can also see ahead, that I have an infinite distance in front of me that I can explore.  Whether I rest on this plateau or dust myself off and keep walking is a choice that’s all my own.

This week, I didn’t read any scriptures.  I didn’t spend time reflecting upon my life.  The bigger concern is that I fell into my normal rhythm of worry and apprehension and chose to carry the burden on my own without once thinking to say a prayer for relief.

I’m not one to ask for help, even when I need it.  It’s a character flaw that results in some teasing from friends.  I guess I would prefer to shoulder all the responsibilities and become grouchy and tired.  I’m sure my hubby adores this trait in me!

I haven’t shirked all of my spiritual responsibilities, though.  I have said prayers, but not for my own relief.  I have uttered simple prayers for the safety of a blogger friend’s nephew, a friend’s speedy recovery from surgery, and the safe-keeping of another friend’s father who is dying.  I prayed that God would breathe enough strength to keep him warm until she was able to arrive and comfort him in the end.

This week, I rested on a plateau.  I’m aware that I could easily stay here, so I’m asking God for the will to carve out time for reflection and the strength to share my burdens before they get too heavy.  If it’s not too much, I’d also like to encourage others as I have been encouraged.  Oh, and a pony.

Okay, scratch the pony; I have a small backyard.

Do you ever feel like you’re just living life instead of learning it?  How do you find deeper meaning?


18 thoughts on “All About Plateaus

  1. 1959duke July 3, 2011 / 6:03 AM

    That is one of the frustrating parts about one’s life journey with God. We very often things to go straight up and when they don’t we sometimes wonder what is wrong with us.

    • jannatwrites July 3, 2011 / 9:12 PM

      Exactly. I (unrealistically) expect to notice drastic changes each week. It’s good to stay aware of my progress so I don’t fall into a rut, but it’s also good to recognize that short rests may not be a bad thing.

      Thanks for your comment today, Duke.

  2. Carl D'Agostino July 3, 2011 / 6:20 AM

    Perhaps you may care to review the lyrics of that old hymn “What a friend We Have in Jesus.”

    • jannatwrites July 3, 2011 / 9:19 PM

      I listened to a nice rendition of the hymn sung by the Oakridge Boys. The song seems vaguely familiar.

      Thanks for the suggestion, Carl. Have a happy 4th of July!

    • jannatwrites July 3, 2011 / 9:20 PM

      Fixed 🙂 Gotta love those typos that slip in there. If I re-read my comments, I’m sure I’d find them riddled with errors….

    • jannatwrites July 3, 2011 / 9:24 PM

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Nancy. Life viewed through the lens of spirituality is much better than through the ego. (Referring to the linked post in your comment.)

      I’m glad you stopped by today.

  3. pattisj July 3, 2011 / 3:55 PM

    Plateau is good for a short respite, but keep pressing in and pressing on. I wanted the pony, too. And a sheep. I had to giggle at your comment about the trait you were certain your hubby loves. Still giggling, maybe that hits close to home…

    • jannatwrites July 3, 2011 / 9:29 PM

      I don’t know, Patti. In reading your posts, you don’t sound like the grouchy type to me. Your comment made me smile, anyway 🙂

      “Short respite” is the key. I’m hypersensitive to it because I fear if I don’t make myself get up and walk again, I’ll find myself in the same place five years from now. (Been there, done that.)

  4. Carol Ann Hoel July 3, 2011 / 7:59 PM

    I’ve learned that God nudges us off our plateaus once we’ve rested a little. He’s a wonderful coach and caregiver.

    Great post. You are an intercessor, a prayer warrior for others. The Evil One will work hard to discourage you. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites July 3, 2011 / 9:33 PM

      Wow, I wish I were a prayer warrior. In the past, I’ve been sporadic in my prayer support. It’s another thing I’m working on, and by God’s grace, he gave me that one this week where I didn’t feel like a total failure. I’ve decided to borrow a friend’s idea and write down things I need to pray for in a book…I’ve got a perfect one that I kept from the women’s retreat I went to in March.

      Thanks for your encouragement and support, Carol. I do appreciate your comments 🙂

  5. Sankalp July 4, 2011 / 2:42 AM

    How do you find deeper meaning?? That made me think.
    I have been plateaued for too long or did I ever begin the climb??
    Nice Read.

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2011 / 8:21 AM

      Sankalp – you ask a very good question. I’m still searching for the deeper meaning – “why am I here…what am I supposed to be doing?” I’m pretty sure my purpose must be greater than pushing paper at my day job. Maybe it’s raising my children? Writing? Studying God’s word?

      I wish I had an answer, but I don’t know yet. I don’t know when (or if) I will know, but I decided to start with God, the Bible and devotionals to see if something lights my soul. And I decided to write about my experience because perhaps others can relate.

      I’m glad you found my blog, Sankalp. It makes me happy that this post moved you enough to make you want to comment. I encourage you to look within to see if there’s a direction you’d like to explore. Maybe it’s nature-based, general spirituality, or God. Any kind of exploration is progress and moves you from the plateau 🙂

  6. Jackie Paulson Author July 4, 2011 / 10:42 PM

    It is a steady walk with God, a day to day encounter. I know that when it is time to go with God, that I will be entered in and welcomed. I feel sorry for all the others who think that they have time to enter God’s kingdom. See, If I die tomorrow I am IN. If others died tomorrow are they IN? I wonder?!! Great post.

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2011 / 8:50 PM

      I’m glad you liked the post, Jackie. I think the plateaus bother me because I’m afraid I’ll just stay here because it’s nice and cozy….and safe. It’s true that we don’t know when our time is up, so we shouldn’t assume we can learn about God later.

      Thanks for stopping by today!

  7. Sankalp July 4, 2011 / 11:23 PM

    I am not a highly spiritual person,I guess.No spiritual books for me.
    But yeah a small prayer when I go to bed.
    Spirituality is also an aspect which I have overlooked so far.

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2011 / 8:52 PM

      Maybe you’ll decide spiritual exploration is in order…maybe not. I have a feeling you’ll know when/if to go down that road 🙂

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