by Beth Ann Morgan
It’s all too easy to turn into a machine when things get tough. Days can go by without a decent shower, nutritious food, and solid sleep. No time to process the raw emotional journey, no strength to complete more than the most basic of chores. Go, go, go until sheer exhaustion forces you to collapse, only to find yourself waking the next morning with reality thrusting you into the same mode of survival.
I would encourage you to take 20 minutes.
I remember the first time I realized the value of doing this shortly after heading in to see John one day at the hospital. After driving for an hour and 15 minutes, I felt keen disappointment when the unit clerk informed me that an emergency surgery was underway in the pod, and I would not be allowed to see John for at least another 20 minutes.
“You’re free to go wherever and get a little time to yourself. I’ll announce it over the loudspeaker when the procedure is finished.”
I thanked her and then shuffled back down the hallway. All of the rushing around earlier that day and fighting the traffic, then hurrying upstairs . . . and now to sit? I didn’t know what to do with myself. I admit, I was shocked.
I remember heading to the waiting area and sitting for a full ten minutes. Just sitting. I watched the siblings of patients play, parents and grandparents exchange nervous conversation with tissues in hand, anxious bystanders mumbling into cell phones and running their fingers through their hair.
Compassion washed over me as my eyes filled with tears.
I got out my journal and began to write for another ten minutes. I poured out my heart like water by writing my prayer to the Lord, praying for every broken heart in the room, for every sick and hurting child, and for God to help us all.
Your days and nights might seem to run together, but give it a try whenever you can. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Let yourself sit and do nothing. Allow your thoughts to happen. Pray. Journal. Mediate on a Bible verse. Whatever it is that helps you process what’s going on around you.
And when the timer rings, you’re done. I personally find myself refreshed. My circumstances probably didn’t change, but my load has lightened a little.
I pray yours will, too.