I don’t know about you, but I feel in need of some detox from all the political crises and discouraging incidents going on in the world. I’ve been faced with way too much of the worst of humanity lately, and it wears on you.
I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. Not only because of all the anger and protests in both America and Korea. Not only because of the atmosphere of uncertainty and conflict surrounding me (I hate conflict). But also because I got a full body check up last week and it was not good news!
Don’t worry I’m not going to detail all my vitamin deficiencies or even try to convince you to join me in this lifestyle change (read: diet) that is revolutionizing my life. I’ll just cut to the chase: I realized this week that my health is important.
I know that sounds like a DUH moment, but hear me out. Because I don’t think I’m the only one who forgets this.
Yes, the Universe is big. And yes, politics matter. And yes, conflict and hate and injustice are big deals. But you know what else? You matter, too. Don’t forget it.
I’m not advocating self-centeredness, but I am advocating for self-care. Because if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else either. And you won’t be able to change the world like you were meant to.
You have to start with you.
Sometimes I feel like there is so much to be done to make the world better. More to say, more to learn, more to pray. I become obsessed with the task at hand, whether it’s replying to an email or counseling a friend or disciplining a student who needs to learn better, darn it.
But if all the while I am suffering inside, if all of the determination and activity is slowly draining the life out of me, then something’s not right.
My recent health test was like a slap in the face: You are not at PEACE. The doctor told me my stress hormones were up, along with a bunch of other things. And I realized that I had forgotten how to rest. How to just be. How to know my worth apart from accomplishment. I found myself turning to the psalms. And it was really good. It was refreshing to fix my mind on the things that never change, the things that don’t need to be fixed.
I encourage you to detox, too.
Whatever that means for you. Take a walk in a park. Cook a delicious meal for yourself or someone else. Sing like no one’s listening. Let yourself forget the world around you for a moment and just be. Breathe deeply. Let yourself smile. Take a step back from the noise to listen and remember: God is still here, and He can carry us through.
Resting and Hoping
The doing is important, but so is rest. One of the scariest parts of slowing down is that reality can catch up to you. And sometimes reality is scary and overwhelming. But I believe the light is stronger than the darkness and that pressing in to our fear can lead us to good places. Because facing our fears allows us to release them. Acknowledging our fears is key to overcoming them.
God is listening. His ears are open and attentive to our cry.
As we take the time to slow down, listen, and reconnect with ourselves, may the divine presence be ever near, reminding us that we are not alone and that we aren’t meant to carry the burden alone.
Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O Lord.