Running Out of My Mind

A church with the front of a large cross framed in glass

It has been one of those weeks when my mind couldn’t keep up and everything felt as if it was falling through the cracks. Seriously. Almost everything I did at work this week ended up deleted (thank you, technology) or was wrong (thank you, apparent-loss-of-eyesight). I did the same task three times in a row and it never got properly saved; I actually have less now than when I started the task. I don’t even know how that is possible.

Between work, applying to medical schools (which, for the record, could actually be a full time job itself), worrying about my cat, and using every weekend to meet new family members or celebrate marriages, my life felt like it was spinning out of my hands and into a funnel cloud of chaotic days. I keep losing and forgetting things- and I am the last person to misplace car keys. I’m usually the one telling others where they left their car keys. [If you sense pride, you’re correct; I often pride myself in ‘having it all together.’ That’s a discussion for a different day.]

Last week, I told myself that I would be intentional about taking time for myself to reflect, be still, and be grateful; then, today, I thought “oh shit” and let it stress me out. Which it never should have, because although I tell myself I need to do it, I thoroughly enjoy and never regret it. So there is zero reason that it should add to my anxiety. But there I was, plugging away on the microscope, making up for lost work when it hit me that I hadn’t taken my “me” time this week and how bad I was at this. 

And then, I received an unexpected invitation to go out to lunch. And as I went to clock out, I realized that I was about to reach my hours and that I was essentially unable to work for the rest of the day. I was given a forced afternoon off to relax, reflect, and [finally] clean my room. Time I had already counted as lost had been given to me to nurse my tired mind and spirit.

I have never really understood the phrase “cannot outrun” in any context, whether talking about a bear or God. Of course you can outrun things. You just have to train harder. What is this talk about not outrunning? [If you don’t know, I’m extremely competitive.] But today, I learned that you can’t actually outrun God, you can only ignore Him and look at the ground as you run past while He waits with outstretched arms. Today He stood in my path and I actually ran into Him and was knocked to my feet. Well, that’s how it felt, at any rate. I’ve been doing a terrible job this week at almost everything I have tried, but in the spirit of America, I’ve just kept at it thinking it would get better with time (even if I didn’t change anything).

Space is created for us to take a sabbath even when we think there is no time to sit on a couch and read. I am thankful for a Presence in my life that is so patient to and loving of me that I am gifted a peaceful afternoon when I thought I wouldn’t have a free moment until October 22nd (that is a real date in a real thought I had this week). Now here I am, on my couch, feeling prayers of gratitude welling up inside me as I enjoy the fall breeze through the open windows while reading a book I have eagerly awaited. 

Time is a strange thing to pray for because it is constantly moving, relative to your situation, and truly beyond our understanding. Yet somehow, I received four hours today. And it can be explained by many things (working longer days earlier in the week, divine providence, a law that doesn’t allow me to work over a certain number of hours), but it was a gift nonetheless. 

This is the day that the Lord has made;                                                         let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Glad indeed.