22 August, 2014

Too Much Running?

A few days ago I had to run away to hide. I think I got over-peopled over the weekend and then we've had a houseguest this week. On top of that was the knowledge that the coming days and weekend would be full of people. Then a phone call from friends who wanted to get together with us this weekend. It nearly sent me over the edge.

The introvert part of me just screamed out for some time alone to recharge. I ran to my room (not literally) and "hid". Resting on the bed, I read, played games on my phone and did little interacting for a couple of hours. I came out much refreshed.

A few weeks ago I read this article about resting. At the time it didn't seem possible that we could stop running in the near future. Probably we've been running partially on adrenaline. So this week was probably just waiting to happen, I'd been able to stave off exhaustion because we've had pretty quiet weeks at home with the boys at school. But ask my husband and he'll tell you I've been pretty driven in those hours the boys have been away. Somehow I haven't been able to justify stopping to rest.

Here's an excerpt from the above mentioned article:
Oh, How We Run
And then I joined the “overseas worker club” and I realized, WE’RE ALL RUNNING. Oh, how we run. We run to get here. We run to learn language. We run to get stats and photos that we can e-mail back to our senders. And when we return to our passport countries for a furlough, we run even faster! So much of overseas work seems to involve running and running and trying and striving.
Yep, that's us. When we first "ran" to the field, I was amazed at how little time missionaries had for us newbies. We were largely ignored (that's changed these days, we're told, at least within our mission). Everyone is so busy and so focused on ministry to Japanese that they don't have time for other missionaries. I'm thankful that I've landed in Tokyo in a multi-mission environment that is a little more balanced and have developed some wonderful friends who do make the time for me when I need it.

But it isn't just time for others, it's time for ourselves that needs to be set aside.

On the field David and I live different lives to many in ministry, in that our work is mostly Monday to Friday, during the day. Our work in Australia is quite different to that. Our work is often on weekends, public holidays, and nights. We have a lot of free day-time because our boys are at school. But because I'm used to working at the times the boys are at school I still feel a bit driven to use those times for work here. But as David reminded me the other day, if we're going to work on weekends, we need to take time at other times to rest.

This is also a feature of scripture. I don't have time right now to write much about it, but there is an awful lot about resting in the Bible, right from God resting on the sixth day of creation, through Psalms (see 91:1) through to familiar Matthew 11:28 when Jesus said, "‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

So, you won't mind me telling you that for the last couple of days I've taken a rest on the bed after lunch (not sleeping). I'm feeling a bit recharged and ready for a people-filled weekend. I hope I'll make it to Monday okay.

What do you do to rest? My best rest is a lie down with a book, but playing games like Spider Solitare, Scrabble, and Sudoku are also restful. This week I've also pulled out my two cross-stitch projects that have been packed up since a few weeks before we left Japan. My resolve is to get going on these again. 

I wrote a bit about the challenge of getting a rest-work balance in here and stress factors in our lifestyle here. Now I need to apply these things to our lives in Australia where there is much more pressure to do social things in our free time with friends and family who want to catch up with us.


Hippomanic Jen said...

It's not just overseas people who run! I think your post is (yet another) reminder to me from God about how efficiency (running) is not god. My supervisor has been challenging me on it, my textbook had a chapter on it, and now you. One of these days I'll learn!

Wendy said...

Oh, you're absolutely right Jen. It is a hallmark of our society that many of us are running way too hard without breaks.