I love my job, and yet there are days when I feel so drained. I know that I have been called and am blessed to be in a place that matches my gifts and passion, that challenges and inspires me. But sometimes I feel that I have lost all energy and spark, and wonder if I am enough to succeed in a ministry that demands so much. This usually happens at the end of the day when I look at the stack of unfinished papers on my desk and the unfinished to-do list and sigh in frustration. I forget about the moments of connection and inspiration and just wish my phone would stop beeping with incoming messages and more tasks awaiting my attention.
Why is it that we spend so much time trudging through life, lost in the monotonous details? Often we don't have a choice, caught up in jobs and tasks that we don't enjoy and yet must get done. I grumble about meetings and reports that take me away from the parts of my calling that I love (connecting, counseling, teaching), but it's those tedious assignments that make it possible for me to do my job. When I spend more time exhausted by the burdens than energized by my vocation, I know that something must change. I can't always change my responsibilities but often I must alter my attitude and schedule.
I like the verses where Jesus talks about having the "eyes to see and ears to hear". God is always with us, and our spiritual nature is always accessible if we just take the time to be aware of it. We have to open our eyes to what surrounds us, and hear that still small voice that whispers from the chaos of our lives. Where can I find beauty in my day? How can I stop to hear what God is speaking through my experiences? What can I change to make more space for the functions I love? While much of work is often mind-numbing (as my seven-year-old son complained about his "boring" homework tonight), there are other tasks that make our spirit and mind come to life. Certain projects ignite our passion, and we lose all track of time when we are immersed in them (positive psychologists refer to this state as "flow"). Although we can't spend all of our days on these pleasurable tasks, when we figure our schedules such that we can indulge in some of these on a regular basis, we will find that we have extra energy to face even the most mundane of chores. When we take time to nourish our spirit and use our God-given gifts, we discover that our souls can shine, giving meaning and purpose to all the work we do. This is another gift of sanctuary to me, finding home in ourselves and our God-given personalities and gifts.
What nurtures your spirit? What is your passion? How will you use your gifts to make your soul shine this week?