this week has been a hectic week with many extra meetings and beginning to teach a summer school class, on top of my usual work at church and home. when such busy times occur, i find i have little time to call my own, and i become anxious and depressed. my typical reaction to these feelings is to tell myself that i shouldn't be feeling this way, but i've been trying instead to admit that i have such feelings and, rather than feeling guilty for having feelings that i "shouldn't" have, i've been trying to sort through them and figure why i have such a difficult time dealing with the stress of too much to do and too little time to do it.
as i've begun each day's meditation time, i've admitted these feelings in my prayers and asked God to help me in dealing with them in an honest way that doesn't become guilt-ridden. what i've taken away from these prayer times is a sense that i can let some things go, that for a brief period while i'm teaching my summer school class, it's ok to skip a german or italian study time if need be or to say to my wife, "we'll just have to postpone this chore for a day or two, because i need some time just to sit and be." it's been a relief not to feel the need to be super-husband, super-disciplined, super-always-at-other's-disposal.
my wife has been incredibly patient with me, since i was honest in saying, "there's too much on my plate. help me remove some of it." yesterday was incredibly hectic for both of us, and we returned home at the end of the day exhausted but happy because we had supported each other and laughed at the frantic pace we had shared as we raced through the day. how nice it was that, instead of being snippy with each other and feeling sorry for ourselves as we usually are after such a day, we could end the day in good spirits because we honestly admitted to one another that the day's schedule was demanding, but this pace only lasted for one day and we handled it together.
all through the day, my wife kept asking, "are you ok? is everything going to be alright?" her concern for me lifted my spirits and i could truthfully answer, "yes. we're going to come out at the other end of the day relieved that it's over and proud that we handled the demands on us well."
God has let me know that the time i'm given is sufficient to accomplish the things that need to be accomplished. i don't have to feel guilty that some non-essential tasks may be postponed for a less busy time. perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, "sufficient to the day is the evil thereof" (matthew 6:34). my prayer for each of us this day is that we examine our feelings honestly and without guilt and learn how to prioritize, completing those tasks that are truly important and setting aside the lower priority tasks without a sense of failure. may we understand that taking time to take care of our own needs is often one of those high priority tasks. shalom.