I’m just going to go ahead and say it: I love the 90’s. The years of 1994-2000 were my adolescence. (Proud member of the class of Y2K right here!) That means I get super nostalgic about things like flannel shirts, baggy jeans and t-shirts, clogs, Friends, hacky-sacks, disc-mans, and 90’s alternative rock. Give me some Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, or Pearl Jam any day of the week. And also U2. After all, they were the band of the millennium. Now, I know their albums Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby were the height of their awesomeness but I’m also a fan of their 2001 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
On that particular album there is a lesser known song called Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s worth the 4 minutes and 33 seconds of listening time. But in case you decide to forego the youtube search, I’ll clue you in to the main idea: the song is directed to someone going through a rough time, someone who (as the title mentions) feels stuck. The song then concludes with these lyrics:
“And if, and if the night runs over, and if the day won’t last; And if your way should falter, along the stony pass; It’s just a moment, this time will pass.”
I think this is the same message Axl Rose was also going for when he sang:
“Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain.”
Like Bono and Axl, I would like to offer a personal insight when it comes to some stuck moments- as in those moments filled with complaints and self-pity. Perhaps there’s a way to move those moments along with both a little more tempo and purpose.
I was having such a moment a few weeks back. In the midst of it all I knew I was being petty and ridiculous. But still. I was in a mood and the thoughts just kept coming. At first I tried to tell myself how awful I was being and made an attempt to focus my mind on something else.
That didn’t work.
If anything, it just made me feel angrier. So, I figured I could either keep trying to talk myself out of being petty, or give myself some minutes to wallow in my self-imposed misery.
I made the conscious choice to wallow.
However, this choice was made with a full understanding that I was not meant to stay in that place of petty resentment; that those minutes could exist, but only for an allotted time. I looked at the clock and gave myself 8 minutes to think all of my ridiculously selfish thoughts.
Two interesting things happened next, the first of which was this: after the first minute I didn’t really feel the need to take 7 more. Strangely, after I gave myself permission to dwell, it just didn’t seem necessary to do so.
Second, shortly after the taken minute I was able to reflect upon where my thoughts were coming from. What emotion or need was driving all of this?
Turns out, I was having a moment of jealousy and insecurity. I absolutely recognized the need to lay down my pride. But I also recognized that what I really wanted- and maybe needed- was affirmation from friends. And that became my prayer: for God to forgive my jealous heart and to help me lay down my pride; to remind me that I am immensely loved by the King of the Universe; and to provide, as He saw fit, the words of affirmation I desired from others.
That prayer was like a giant sigh of relief and the key to becoming unstuck.
What I meant as an 8 minute gripe session, He meant as a moment to teach me about who He is. These moments left me thanking God for His gracious love for me, even when I am most unlovable. It left me overwhelmed by His patience and amazed by His compassion for my emotions and needs. But most of all, it caused me to praise Him that His purposes prosper above my own. Truly our God is the God of every moment.