There are days when I look at what I need to do and I feel like everything will be just fine, as long as it all goes according to plan. Do you know what I mean? The kind of day where you squeeze in an appointment, right before you have to be somewhere else, and everything will just be fine as long as no one runs late. Or, you have time to exercise, as long as you are finished and showered by a certain time, because then you will have to get to work. And, when you finally get to work it feels like you have already put in a full day before you have even really started your day. Anxiety starts to churn in your stomach and there is that telltale pulse in your head and the lists running through your mind. And then someone says “how are you?” and you answer “I’m fine, thank you, just crazy busy.” and you smile and keep moving.
But for me?
I’m learning that the distance between what I’m feeling on the inside and what I am portraying on the outside is the ground the enemy uses to keep me from listening.
Every time I answer “fine, thank you,” I’m lying to myself. (This is not to say that you dump everything on everyone who asks, we do need to be discerning.) The truth is, if I stay busy enough I don’t have to name what might be bothering me. I don’t have to ask hard questions, or feel messy emotions because there is no time. Did you see my carefully plotted schedule? No time.
When I take the time to stop, really stop, and ask the hard questions and listen for the answers, the anxiety starts to unwind. I wonder why I’ve been running so hard, thinking that it’s up to me to keep all of the plates spinning in the air. It’s good that the Lord is so patient with me.
So, why don’t I always do this? Slow down just a little? I’m not sure, but I think sometimes I don’t ask the questions because I’m afraid of the answers. Hard answers might require action on my part, and maybe that action could be uncomfortable or painful. Staying busy keeps me avoiding the potential for pain.
But, the truth is, any painful things I’m avoiding are still there, they are just buried deeper. Festering. And it comes out through impatience, anxiety, or migraines. But the worst part of all is that buried problems start to feel normal and, before we know it, we stop praying or hoping for healing. This weight we are carrying? at least it’s familiar and the familiar can feel safer than exposure or the pain of dealing with it.
But it isn’t real. Eventually it will burst forth- probably when we are least prepared to deal with it.
So, I’ll gently ask you the same questions that I’m asking myself….what are you being crazy busy for? Is there a hard truth you have become accustomed to carrying on your own? Is it time to lay it down?