Most of us in our work-a-day world know exactly what the word hectic means. Crazy days. Interruptions. Busy-ness. Phones ringing. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. Now add in the consequences of a society living in fear of Covid. Perhaps you don't have enough people to run your business and you are the one stuck trying to cover two or three jobs at once. Or maybe you deal with the public and have begun to notice that people are becoming short-tempered and impatient.
Let's face it-- we all need to get away sometimes.
Maybe we can only get away in our minds right now with some peaceful music playing in the background or in our ear buds. It's not going to relieve your stress for any length of time, but it helps in the short term. But a true vacation, one where you fly or drive somewhere totally different, is important to do for our mental health.
Back when I first started working (a LONG time ago, lol), no one ever spoke about mental health. We knew when we needed a vacation, but that was about it. Then a few years later, someone might have said, "I need a mental health day." It was sort of a joke, something to say when the workday was too stressful. But in today's world, it's no longer funny. October is Mental Health Awareness Month. We now have an entire month dedicated to making everyone aware that help is available for those experiencing anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental health problems.
I belong to a Facebook group for church secretaries. (I know, there really IS a Facebook group for everyone.) A few days ago one of my fellow secretaries said her new pastor was driving her crazy, the parishioners did nothing but nitpick her efforts, and she was regularly working the weekends, in addition to full time during the week. She asked what she could do to relieve her stress. Besides quitting her job, some of the suggestions included engaging in a hobby in the evenings, walking, resting, taking a vacation, listening to music, spending time with pets, and talking to Jesus. That's some great advice for anyone.
Even Jesus needed to get away sometimes. After long, arduous days of walking from town to town, teaching his disciples, preaching to the crowds, and healing the sick, Jesus in His human form was tired. Exhausted, most likely. At those times, the Bible says he went off to be alone and pray: "And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there." (Matthew 14:23 NKJV) Touching base in prayer with the Father was necessary for Jesus to recharge after teaching and healing the crowds.
It's necessary for us, too. Even more so because we are imperfect people in need of a Savior to help us. We can't do it by ourselves. That's why Jesus is there: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:27-29 NKJV)
And it's why he gave us friends and family: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 NKJV)
So take that vacation, even if it's only a day or two from work. Go to be alone, just you and God. Or take your friends and family, but still look to find some time alone. Pray. Sleep. Take a deep breath. Relax.
Jesus has you in His arms, my friend.
Until next time,