If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt in the past fifteen weeks (and counting), it’s that a full calendar does not equate to a full life.
It was fine at first – I was managing nicely with all my work, project, and ministry commitments. Traffic jams were still a pain and sapped the life out of me during my evening commute, but I was still somewhat functioning by the time I got home. Most days, I was able to squeeze some more work out of me before I went to bed.
Then I got sick (I think my body was telling me something) and instead of resting, I had to go to work and attend ministry meetings. That night, I broke down – physically and emotionally.
I was (finally) able to take the next day off, and I slept through most of it. Physically, I got better. Emotionally – well, that took more than a long nap to sort out.
Still, I piled on things to do because – well, because these are things I want to do. Yes, I’m insane. Doing things I enjoy helps alleviate the burden of doing things I have to do. It helps me get through the drudgery of having to fulfil certain expectations which I feel were foisted on me, simply by nature of me being ME. (I’m not sure how many of you can understand or relate to this dilemma. If you do, I’d like to talk to you.)
Fast forward to today (because I actually started this post a month ago). Here I am, on the verge of another physical collapse, awake and blogging at 2am. (In my defense, I slept from 7pm to 12mn – a luxury that my mom negotiated from my dad on my behalf. I love you, mom.) The fact that I resort to odd hours to write speaks volumes of my daytime calendar. Especially since I detest staying up beyond 10pm.
The good news is, I’ve managed to regain my sanity. I stopped volunteering for ministry work. All my current commitments are by invitation only. All my project work is also by invitation only – purely by recommendation, and not through active solicitation. I thank God for continuing to send ravens to feed me. (And yes, at some point, I felt the exhaustion and desperation of Elijah in the wilderness – but that’s just me being melodramatic.)
What’s most striking, though, is that I have moved from a general state of restlessness to a increased state of restedness (most days, anyway). I’ve learned to refocus and park my time on the essentials.
I spent more time praying.
I prayed in the middle of traffic jams. I prayed when I got up in the morning. I prayed before I went to bed. I prayed when I couldn’t sleep. I prayed when I couldn’t eat. The more I prayed, the more things got done.
It wasn’t always a serene experience. There were days when I would weep and wail and cry out in utter desperation. And there were days when the stillness just calmed me. There were days when I wonder what on earth is happening. And there were days when my brain just didn’t want to process anything anymore. Through it all, I became increasingly anchored to my steadfast, immovable God.
My calendar remains full, even (possibly especially) on weekends. But there will always be an hour each day when I meet my God – and this makes all the difference.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.