by Rod Smith

Are you discouraged? Are you at the end of your tether? Looking for answers? Seeking questions?  

Look for the spark, the spark of life, it lies within, deep within you – and it is a good place to start when wrestling with discouragement. 

Finding answers, uncovering the antidote for whatever is at the heart of discouragement is not somewhere “out there” as an empowering truth hiding in a new, or old, book you are yet to discover.

It is not in some powerpoint presentation from a speaker you are yet to hear or on a social media platform seeking to solve therapeutic issues.

It’s not lurking to be revealed in some undiscovered podcast. 

The spark is deep within you.

It is located within you in the place where spirit meets soul, the ven intersection where thinking, planning and your longings, even confiused longings, overlap; the place where desire for worship and the need for vulnerability and transparency merge into one large inner-venue, the place we typically call Self.

The deep place – this beautiful and holy atrium within you – is not easily identified or accessed and yet it drives everything about you (and me).

Also, although it deserves full attention, it will, ironically, not be found in a hurry. Oddly, we are usually very familiar with this place in the inner-Person and yet can live long lives offering little or no attention perhaps in the manner an indifferent spouse may do in a failing flailing marriage.

The spark within the Self, the beautiful Self will not race nor be rushed, but while it is raced, rushed, scheduled, it is unlikely to turn from spark to a comforting, leading flame.

Want to find it?

Get a pencil, paper and a quiet place and sit, sit, sit and think and resist the urge to pick up your phone or check your email.

When you have calmed your inner-being, try to answer these questions: 

What do I really want?

What do I have to offer?

What am I really good at?

Do this for a few hours every week by lingering in this holy space and let the words flow into phrases until they find their sentences and let the sentences run free, unmonitored, released to declare whatever it is this deep place within you wants to declare. Do this for a while – days, weeks, months, make it a repeated retreat of habit – and there is a real possibility your anxieties and any sense of desperation will find inner-calm and your inner-spark will emerge and build into a guiding light to renew and refresh your life and connect you with things far more important than the distractions your phone and so much else, will persist in providing.

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