When I was in Assisi this summer, I wondered what God would call me to this fall. Every September a half-dozen offers of good things come my way and I have to make choices because I cannot do everything. A spiritual director once told me that my biggest challenge was choosing between two goods and this was the greatest gift he gave me. Now when I catch myself trying to do it all, I step back and breathe a bit, asking God to do an intervention because I am leaning towards replacing the Messiah when really I am quite indispensable.
This fall has been no different. I’ve been run ragged at work and I have been feeling a bit off for awhile. I originally thought it was a touch of food poisoning but some symptoms still linger so my energy is not quite what it normally is which is annoying.
I had taken an afternoon to consider a number of things so that I could make wise choices about time management. Naturally a few more options fell on my plate and I’ve got others on a warming tray until solid dates are set. I pick up some of these items to nibble on as I drive long distances to work. I try to listen to God’s voice and come back often to the prayer of Merton who seemingly struggled when making decisions too: Lord, I have no idea where I am going…. BUT with the desire to please The Lord, Merton knew he could move forward because God would bless him because of his single-heartedness.
We all make difficult decisions and we cannot please everyone but God does not want us to be exhausted all the time. We serve no one well if we do not take care of our basic needs. St. Ignatius talked about giving and not counting the cost. I agree with that concept too but I am learning to comprehend that it might mean something more along the lines of not keeping a tally sheet than giving without caring for oneself.
I still have some items on a plate to chew on for a bit before deciding what exactly my fall plate will look like but whatever it ends up being, I know that it will be delicious and nourishing. More importantly, I pray that the plate will be shared and life-giving to others.
What is on your serving menu this fall?