This week has been one of “those weeks”.
Now, I recognize that we all have different understandings of what the phrase “one of those weeks” means, so I will clarify.
“Those weeks”, for me, are the weeks when all my plans fly out the window, because God has decided that I am all wrapped up in my own business and not focused on what I should be.
And I am very good at getting wrapped up in my own business.
Meaning, I’m very good at not cutting myself any slack, not giving myself any breathing room, panicking about everything that has to get done, not asking anyone for help, and getting so focused on my work that I forget to focus on Him.
So, during “those weeks”, something invariably goes very wrong. Usually this will then require me to sit and “do nothing” for an extended period of time. This past week, my neck went wrong. I have no idea how it happened, but I came to the point where sitting still with a strategic application of heat was my only option.
God, I fumed as I stared at the ceiling. This was NOT my plan for today.
At that point I knew very clearly what His answer was.
No, dear heart. It was Mine.
I shouldn’t be surprised
“Those weeks”, more often then not, come at a point when my stress levels are rising exponentially, a point when I am getting to bed later and later, a point when I begin skipping or shortening my quiet prayer and devotional time so I can fit in “everything else that has to get done NOW”.
It’s as if God steps on the breaks and says:
WHOA! Slow down!
I do not slow down naturally.
I want to get everything done, now, and correctly. I want to do it myself so I know it will be right.
But, when I stop paying attention to God, and when I stop utilizing self-care by not paying attention to God or my own mental state — that’s a big problem.
How are we to be good workers for God’s Kingdom if we are overworked, overtired, and not spending time with Him each day? How can we be witnesses for His love and peace if we are constantly stressed out of our minds? Jesus Himself said:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NIV)
Did you catch this? Jesus cares so much about this, He makes it clear that we should come to Him in these times, so that we can spend time with Him and He can provide us a way out — a way to get the rest we need to clear and refresh our minds and hearts so that we can be good witnesses for His Gospel and love.
I have not yet learned this skill
And therefore my life is peppered with “those weeks”.
I hate slowing down, reorganizing my plans. Asking someone else to lend a hand.
But sometimes, I am slowly starting to realize, it is absolutely necessary. After all, God said, after looking at Adam:
“… It is not good that man should be alone …” (Genesis 2:18, NKJV)
He was speaking about Eve, of course, but the thought is the same. We are firstly meant to live with the guidance of our Creator and secondly with the help of those around us.
When we reach those times when we are neglecting our relationship with Him and our mental health for the sake of “everything that must be done”, those are the times when we must reach out to Him.
He will make a path. He will give us the wisdom to decide what should be done now, what can be saved for later, and what we should ask for help with. He will give us the ability to give ourselves grace.
As I said, I need to learn this myself.
It will be a process, but I’m tired of finding myself staring at the ceiling with a heating pad on my neck.
So here I go.
God, teach me to slow down.