Thoughts to Think

I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because it has been all I can do these last couple of months to manage to get through some of my immediate responsibilities: third year of grad school – over; MA – obtained; health problems – pending; move – impending.

In some ways, this year has been more about what hasn’t gotten done than what has.  As a musician and a “Type A” person, I tend to be very much a perfectionist. I wear a lot of stress, carrying around on my shoulders the pressure to perform up to my standards and others’ standards. I was so burned out at the end of college, but I jumped into this PhD track program – and I don’t regret coming here and doing this.  I so love this field of study!  But I have been letting the Academy eat me alive because I have bought into the idea that pursuing this is worth expending so much energy worrying, anxious, trusting in myself and knowing very well that I might let myself down.

My body and my mind hit a wall this year. Whatever reserves I have been running on since I graduated from college finally ran out. I’ve been a spiritual wreck too; at least to the extent that my first response when I started shutting down was “God, I don’t have time to fall apart!”

The beauty of it is that I’m learning now what I have been needing to learn for so long. That my worry and anxiety – most of it – is just pride. That my standards and priorities – getting things done on time, always making things look professional, giving my best to my work – they aren’t the most important things in life.  In fact, my work is worthless if it isn’t for God!

Instead, life is about trusting God with my time, with my health, with my responsibilities – with my life – and it’s about being Christ to people around me.  It’s about being humble enough to recognize and admit that there are things I can’t do, that there are times when I can’t do what I am otherwise capable of doing, and that sometimes it is okay to not only accept, but to ask for help.  I’m taking a year off – it is a year without a plan, and to a planner like me, that is a great opportunity to trust.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you

Psalm 33:1-5, 20-22

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts to Think

  1. He gives us sabbaths for a reason, too! You can’t constantly give (whether in church service or in academia or any other work) without taking in, without rest and replenishment. Love your neighbor as yourself implies that loving yourself — including taking time for rest, for pleasurable things, for passions and reams — is a high standard, not a low one.

    • I agree completely! That’s another reason I’m taking this coming year off, and I’ve found that taking Sundays off to rest and to invest in the word and in fellowship with God’s people throughout the year has been very worthwhile and refreshing.

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