I feel like a hot, cluttered mess right now.
I've been dealing with more stress than usual, and I've hit my tipping point. You see, I caught myself doing what I promised I'd stop doing. I allowed myself to be so stressed that I was becoming short-tempered with people and started looking at them as intrusions and inconveniences. When I allow my stress to get out of balance, I hyper-focus on the work that needs to be done, and I lose focus on people. I see people as problems, adding to my stress, or just plain in the way. I promised myself a few years ago, after living in a constant state of stress and treating people this way, that change needed to happen. I was hurting my relationships, and I was wrong.
I am amazed how Jesus constantly had people pulling at him, yet he was never short with them. They were never in the way. He never said, "Sorry! Can't listen - I have to stay on schedule!" or "Sorry! You'll have to keep being blind 'cause I've got to be over here, and stopping to heal you will make me late.” With Jesus, people always won. One thing I find interesting is that, while people were the priority, they never won at the expense of his relationship with the Father. He would purposefully take time away to be with the Father, often early in the morning. He got up before others were up for the sole purpose of praying and spending time with God (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). He filled himself up first so he could pour out to others. It was because he did this that people could be the focus of his attention, not the work that people would benefit from.
So today, after recognizing some old habits creeping in, I decided to just do what Jesus did. I spent necessary time with the Father. Not as a stress reduction habit or "do this and you'll feel better" quick fix because spending time with God isn't transactional. My soul literally feels thirsty for time with Him, yet I've been choosing to be busy over restful with Him.
Maybe you're in the same place as me right now. You feel the pull to spend time with the Father… you know you’re not your best self… yet you’re choosing the things that need to get done over time with Him. You know it just as much I do that it’s time to shut things off. It’s time to prioritize. Taking 10 minutes with the Father will not put us behind. It will not be a burden. It’s the exact opposite. It’s necessary and freeing, and we’re waiting too long to do it. Let’s do what we need to do right now to spend time with the Father. Let’s reorient ourselves. Let’s become our best self by giving up our stressed self to the Father.