Flu. Thoughts riot, cascading madly. One minute you are inspired, the next weeping over nothing. In fact, weeping over nothing seems to be the way to end the day for a week afterwards. Your legs stop working, and you are feverish every time you have a shower/use a hairdryer/drink a cup of tea/put on a jumper.
You do strange things like attempting to drive to work the same way as usual, though usually you cycle. Down the cycle path. And even though you drove, your eggs are laking – what? Oh, sorry – legs are aching at the end of the day as if you’d travelled ten times as far.
In fact, nothing feels right at all, inside or out. But you carry on as normally as you can, in the belief that things will be back to normal soon.
A bit like faith, in fact.
There’s enough times when things feel wrong. When the people you love don’t seem to love you enough. When someone is unkind, unprofessional, unpleasant; for no reason that you can tell. When you are miserable over something and can’t share it. When you have a headache or a soul-ache and life is rotten.
Or people are ill; or you lose something; you can’t go to something you want to; there’s too much to do and no time to do it, but if you don’t do it the world will explode. You get hooted at the traffic lights for no reason; you reverse into a wall; your children forget all their water bottles and jackets on the same day and didn’t tell you they were supposed to be dressed up; you can’t find your P60 or the sellotape; you shout and feel guilty; the childminder is ill… It’s this really how life should be? Have you got it all wrong, not only the water bottles, but everything? Can it really be supposed to go like this?
Sometimes logic is hard to come by, and serenity difficult to grasp.
That’s where we need faith. Faith to believe in the things we learned when we were healthy and thinking straight. Faith to hang on to what we understood when wise people explained it to us.
Faith to remember the revelation we had over that person, that bible passage, that moment. Faith to pray. Faith to continue as normal when everything feels wrong – because your version of normal is based on what you believe to be God’s will.
Even if it’s hard to understand how that can be so, right at this moment. You can’t always be certain; enlightened; but you can carry on as if you were, till you are able to see with God’s grace again, instead of through feverish eyes.