Yup- it’s official.
Between school, ministry, family, the side business that pays for school, I officially have more to do than time in which to do it. And that doesn’t even include the things I would LIKE to be doing, but just don’t have time for right now, things like exercise and reading for enjoyment… And blogging.
As with most of life, I think the secret here is a matter of perspective. Generally, in the past I’ve allowed a wrong perspective to make things worse/harder.
So, with that in mind, here are some things I’m trying to keep in mind.
1. This is a season. Whatever stress I’m feeling is time-limited. Usually we lose hope when we buy into the lie that how things are is how things will always be. We do that in good times (and so are constantly surprised by hard times when they come) and we do it in the hard times as well. And in doing so, we turn what is effectively a sprint into an endless marathon, mentally, and lose the perspective of the finish line. That perspective is vital in tough times- even when we don’t know exactly where or how far off the finish line is, just knowing it’s there can keep us from despair. “This too shall pass.”
2. I’m thankful… Let me rephrase… I’m TRYING to be thankful for times that increase my sense of reliance on God. Yes, faith in God is a crutch. Absolutely. And we ALL have broken legs. The sooner we realize that, the better off we are. And anything or anyone that helps me recognize that should be seen as a gift. I could choose to live my life in such a way that I was never stretched beyond the limits of my own internal resources. It would be comfortable and to a certain extent, easy. It would also be devoid of any sense of purpose beyond my own comfort and any sense of making a difference for anyone else. To move into that territory, we are talking about, by definition, what’s beyond me. And for that, I need God. I need to live in and out of that same power that raised Christ from the dead. I need the Holy Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis as a guide, a teacher, and encouragement, a check to my conscience and more. I need others to play that role too- so community and family are essential. But without that baseline of the Holy Spirit’s active presence in my life, I’m sunk.
3. And lastly, in these moments of busyness, activity and overwhelming demands, I need the Gospel. I NEED the Good News that my life, and the justifying of my existence does not rest on my shoulders. It rests on the shoulders of Someone infinitely more able to carry that weight than I. I look to Jesus and am so grateful that the real work of my life is hands more capable than mine. And in knowing that, I can take my energy and put it, rather than to justifying myself or trying to earn something from God, to things I CAN control- growing in the love of God and my neighbor.
Thank you God for times of frenetic activity that make those times of rest and sabbath even more sweet. Help me to live in that sabbath-rest mindset, even as I work hard physically and mentally. Help me to rest in the finished work of Christ so that the work I do comes from a place of gratitude and service and not endless self-justification, and so that when the end of the week comes, the most natural thing in the world becomes laying it down and adding physical rest to the spiritual rest I’ve been enjoying all along.