I have had an interesting time responding to people who do not know that I am sick. Still as busy as ever? gets answered with Not at all. People are used to seeing me whirl around madly, I suppose. The truth of the matter is that I had slowed down previously to getting really tired last fall. I was trying to clear my schedule for more me time and was somewhat successful. The days still zipped by but the pace was different. Just before starting this blog, I wrote a list of a daily to-do list for the next while:
Clean something/one chore
I laughed at that list because I thought it seemed ambitious. I wanted to add read somewhere but knew that might bump something else off the list and I really do need to do some cleaning around here. Today I self-cleaned the oven. That was quite the feat on a Sabbath but a chore I have wanted to do for months. I am fighting the urge to go full steam ahead. The dietician that I met with last week said to start with 10 minutes of exercise a day for a few weeks prior to returning to any classes at the Pilates studio where I used to go. I thought she was not giving me enough credit but it turns out she is right. I picked up my kettle bell last night and was shocked at how little strength I had in my arms.
Most of the people in my life are busy. We crave action. We forget that even Jesus took a time out when he needed to. Are we more of the Messiah than Christ himself? Should we not take care of our bodies, minds and spirits? Today’s Gospel from Mark 6 shows that Jesus counsels his Apostles who have returned from their mission to come away to a deserted place all by themselves and rest a while. They had done their task and after reporting to Jesus all that they had done and taught, he did not order them to go back out there and save the world. Rather, he saw the masses coming and recommended they go and recharge their batteries. Mark does not have them protest; he says they went away in a boat to a deserted place as suggested.
There is always something to do, someone to help, and somewhere to go. As followers of Jesus our hearts, like Christ’s will be filled with compassion, but the lesson that Jesus gives us today is that we must discern what we need too and then choose between two goods–helping others or caring for ourselves. We do no one else any good if we are tired and cranky or exhausted and distracted. Yes, there will be times when pushing past the fatigue is God’s will but clearly Jesus shows us that we cannot run on empty. Go alone to a quiet place and seek rest for a while. There is no shame in this. Once we have done this, we can be a bright light, and not a dim flicker, for Christ.
Why do I let myself run on empty? What am I looking for when I do this?
What does a quiet place by myself look like for me?
You are ever our Guide
showing us the path in which to walk.
Help us to see that being busy is not always wise.
Slow us down to find a quiet place
to rest a while and know You there.
Service and silence are both sacred.
May we learn a balanced way of being.
Thank you for modeling self-care
as well as compassion for others.