Last week was one of those tough weeks. It wasn’t necessarily a bad week but definitely challenging, definitely intense, definitely fulfilling, and definitely hoping this one isn’t the same. Maybe you’ve had a similar one recently too.
We all know these days well: something happens in the midst of the regular craziness, all the unresolved issues compound, anything that was trivial becomes relevant, everything minor is now significant and everything that was already major is now epic. Often during these weeks, strong points are challenged, weak spots are revealed, even the imaginary ones, and the gaps feel like black holes. Time is critical, we’ll never get it done, we should pull the plug now or go full steam ahead now, get out of the tension and preserve whatever sanity we have left. Relationships are strained, prayers seemingly don’t work, does God really care, does any of this really matter – yeah it was a bit of that.
But this post is actually not about moving through those weeks – this one is about the week after. I moved through the weekend with something of an emotional hangover and began yesterday in a haze. All the things that had to get out of the way are back in line, and they are anxious. And that To-Do list that got set aside, well, there are some items that are frankly pissed. As we all know, there are no holidays given for doing your job, especially when it really matters. This is among the reasons you are here. Which in a moment of self-reflection would actually feel good, but who has time to reflect – it’s back to the grind.
Or is it back to the grind? We all have different jobs and responsibilities. For some it’s easier to take a day off, some of can juggle their schedule and find some space to recover, some can stay up late and meditate because there is no guardian at the time-clock early the next morning. And of course, some are waking up with a new set of challenges, responsibilities and hopefully, amazing realizations soon to be fulfilled. May they find rest soon.
I’ve been thinking about how to have a good week and the first step has been getting out of the emotional shadow of last week. There will always be loose ends to tie up and closure is a good thing but releasing the emotional baggage is an excellent first step. Second, I’m doing my best to slow down a little and “steal” a few extra moments here and there for family, friends, and myself. Third, in my prayers, I’m asking God to help me strengthen the weak spots that were previously revealed. Fourth, I’m pausing to think and celebrate about the goodness found last week.
One of the moments I’m most grateful for from last week was the realization that what we do really matters. We are not wasting our time and energy; even our stress, anger and frustration is redeemable (I will admit that it did make me more irate towards the empty drama-filled moments contained in matters that are trivial but I’m not going to get stuck there today). Further, I was struck by how healthy community can bring out so much goodness in stressful situations. I want to avoid sounding overly-dramatic but when you deconstruct something good, it really is amazing what you uncover. You really find things like unity, hustle, mercy, wisdom, clear-thinking, trust and a lot of love.
I’m also grateful for my home-life. My wife is a wonderful presence in my life. And during this stage of our children’s lives, though they detect stress, they’re not a point where they isolate themselves or drift away, instead they crawl up in your lap and show you Lego projects. Lastly, I was grateful my in-laws were in town these past couple of weeks. The timing of the visit was not lost on any of us. So much more to say but I’d like to encourage you to find the bright moments of your tough week.
One more thing though. Tough weeks often have a way of confirming our sense of calling, gifting, and identity. Though weak spots are uncovered, though frustrations can bite, good moments rise up too and there is joy found in where you are supposed to be. And so, may God give us strength and may He find us faithful.