Recently I spent an entire week at home, and spent most of it sleeping.
To many this sounds like a dream come true — who doesn't want to sleep all the time? — but I can assure you that this was anything but a dream. I had the great misfortune of catching some kind of stomach flu which kept me from doing any kind of work (including podcast work) in the time I was awake.
So when you cant do any work and looking at screens makes you nauseous and dizzy, you have a lot of time to think.
I'd been thinking a lot recently about slowing down, taking breaks, and resting.
It came as quite surprising and also really providential that the two weeks I planned as a break would actually be just that: a break.
Because let's be honest, I was probably going to work right through it!
I had so many interviews lined up during this time. I was so down to edit and put more episodes together. But God had other plans. I found myself meekly messaging interviewees one by one to let them know that I needed to reschedule because of my illness. And one by one, I cancelled all of them.
While I waited to fall asleep as I lay in bed, I kept thinking about how much I desired to be moving, doing anything other than feeling sick. I wanted to feel normal and be out in the world, and instead the world was passing me by while I was too ill to even read a book.
This was an extremely humbling time for me, and also a very restful time, of course. In order for us to do things well, our bodies need to be well. I found that I was constantly moving and not giving myself enough time to rest. This went for both my physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
When it comes to wearing ourselves down physically, the symptoms are obvious: fatigue, impatience and irritability, difficulty sleeping...the symptoms keep coming. When it comes to wearing ourselves down spiritually, it can creep in without us really noticing. It can turn into apathy, laziness, and a loss of connection to the Lord.
I had been focused a lot on the things of this Earth that I forgot to strive for the things that are above.
The challenge for me is that this work and this podcast IS from above. I stand by the media evangelization and being able to amplify the voices of Catholic women that I meet through this medium.
But I kind of fell into a Mary and Martha situation, and I was hardcore Martha-ing.
Your relationship with Jesus should be first above all things. The minute you start to lose yourself to the details of the work, you start to lose the purpose of the work. This isn't to say that it's bad to be detail oriented, but find the balance and focus. Remember, everything we do is for the greater glory of God (see: St. Ignatius of Loyala).
The gifts God gives to each one of us is our way to give back to Him: to help Him build up the Kingdom here on Earth. We're called to serve and work hard like Martha, but we're also called to slow down and choose the better part like Mary: to sit at the feet of Jesus, to listen to Him, and to show our own love for Him.
How is God calling you to slow down at this moment?
(Hopefully, it's not through getting a week-long stomach flu!)