When I went to visit my spiritual director a few weeks ago, he prodded me a little bit, like he often does, about ministry and taking time for myself.
Ministry of any kind makes one very prone to burnout.
“How are you filling the well?” he asked me, and I didn’t know the answer, but I wrote the question on a hot pink sticky note that I still have at the base of this computer.
It was buried, though, for a few weeks, with piles of other hot pink sticky notes. Notes about work and Lent and phone numbers to call. I would look at it from time to time, to remind myself.
And, it sounds silly, but the first thing I thought to do was to try to give more. Why not? Service is important to me. I set new writing deadlines. I sought out new programming. I initiated new conversations, filled my calendar with more social events, developed more goals.
Jesus help me.
My spiritual director would be so perplexed.
But, and I will confess this, I don’t know how to find balance quite yet in the world of a job where I still don’t know everything and navigating through relationships where I just don’t know everything, add being naturally extroverted and exploration-prone and experience-seeking and, well, here we are.
And then a close friend of mine had a relatively serious medical incident and I found myself at that spot where…the well was just dry. I had no words left to write.
The medical field being what it is in a nation of wealth and resource, I think that everything will work out just fine. I am hopeful of the long-term. The short-term, though, is a new breed of different. I was familiar with texting all the time about my life and asking for prayers and calling and chatting about nothing and everything. I don’t have that anymore. And it’s weird to think that exchanged text-messaged prayers were the straw that broke that one camel’s back, the camel being my ability to do all that I was trying to accomplish, but…here I am. And here we are.
So, I didn’t write anything for a few weeks. I gave myself that grace and focused my energy in different places.
On one hand, this is my blog. I am allowed to write as frequently or as infrequently as I decide.
But, also, this is a space where I try to be honest. And I feel like being honest about the sudden lack of words has merit, too, after all.
So. Now then. Here we are. May I try again? For I would love to.
Will you join me again so we can share words and ideas and experiences in this fast-becoming-outdated world of Internet space?
I miss you. And my heart could use it.