St. Stephen's Musings

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:: Monday, August 18, 2003 ::

Epiphanies on the Way to Work: An Old Enemy Returns

As I drove in to work this morning an idea struck me for a short story that was so vivid and so stunning, it almost made me want to pull off the side of the road to write down the details.

On the surface this may not seem very notable to my readers. For me, however, this was a major sign that an old enemy has truly resurfaced and a battle for the soul has been reignited with new fervor.

Let me explain:
These little epiphanies used to be a regular occurrence during my college days when I was struggling with a lot of spiritual issues and finding relief in crafting poetry and minimilastic short fiction. For a time, I felt truly inspired and ideas came like water down a waterfall.

I wrote a wide variety of fiction and some philosophical essays (even getting some things published). In many ways, writing was a spiritual tool that helped to open my heart to the Orthodox vision of the world that I was to soon discover.

Then, for reasons I have yet to completely figure out, the creative tap suddenly dried up. For several months I couldn't get a word out on paper that was worth the ink. The drought continued and over the ensuing months I slowly put the notebook and pens away.....

A suspicion slowly grew that I had finally, with God's grace and the spiritual life the Orthodox Church provides, begun to win the war against depression that had slowly crippled my life. But as the tide began to change for the better, the disappearance of my creative inspirations was one of the prices I had to pay.

Over the last couple of months I have wondered if the enemy I once thought vanquished has returned. It wouldn't surprise me, because I have always known he never really died. He just retreated into the shadows, waiting to strike again at a more opportune time. In fact, the signs have been there for the past year or so.

My desire to begin a more regular habit of writing (which turned into this blog 10 months ago) was probably a signal that the enemy had returned. I have discovered that my desire and inspiration to write coincides and in fact is interconnected with my battle against depression.

While the "noon day demon" always haunts me, I can take courage in the fact that I have the tools to fight back, if I want to: confession, prayer, fasting, and the sacramental life of the Church. I also have the witness, teachings, and prayers of the Church Fathers and Mothers who throughout the centuries have shown us how to win the war against depression and cure the soul.

As always, I ask your prayers. This week will be especially difficult for a variety of reasons.

:: Karl :: 10:50:00 AM [Link] ::

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