It was a sailor’s worst nightmare. There are plenty of things to fear in the sea, but this one is unlike any other. It is known as the doldrums. These parts of the sea are entirely without wind or any other way of moving boats dependent on the sea breeze. You may have seen this phenomenon in movies like Master and Commander or Pirates of the Caribbean. The doldrums would trap sailors for days and sometimes even weeks, putting serious strain on the ship’s supplies.
Sometimes it feels like our lives are trapped in the doldrums. We feel stuck in a rut. It makes it hard to grow and improve ourselves. We feel like we are the same day-in and day-out and this makes it hard to put the necessary effort forth. So, when we hit the doldrums of life, how do we get out?
- Get Started. This is probably the toughest step. The longer we stay trapped, the harder it is to get moving again. We get comfortable with the same way of life and it’s a challenge to mix things up. But when we are stagnant, something must get the waters moving again. Once we get started, it’s only a matter of time before we get out of our rut and moving again.
- Make Achievable Goals. List out what you want to improve and begin working on them one at a time. Don’t strive for perfection or you will just burn out and get stuck again. Makes the goals realistic.
- Keep Yourself Accountable. Either do this yourself or find people who are riding the “current” in the right direction. Use friends and loved ones to help pull you at of the doldrums. Whatever method works for you, keep using it.
The doldrums of life are quite a challenge, but we can’t stay in them forever. God asks for us to grow, learn, and improve (1 Corinthians 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:1-3; Ephesians 4:15; etc). In some ways, the doldrums of life are much more frightening that the ones at sea. The doldrums of the sea have physical consequences, but the doldrums of life can have eternal consequences. If we aren’t careful, we can become stagnant and lukewarm like the people of Laodicea (Revelation 3:16). If this sounds all to familiar, then let this serve as a gentle breeze to get you started once again.