Taking My Own Advice
Since March 2020, a lot has happened. Some things have been difficult, some things have been a challenge, some things have been exciting, some things have made us cry, some things have made us laugh, but all of them have had an impact. My guess is that if most of us completed a stress or anxiety survey, we would be toward the higher end of the scale.
Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed social media posts about people being outside and people connecting with friends or family they have not seen in over a year. Things have begun to open up and some aspects of life are settling into familiar patterns (they may not be “normal” or a “new normal”, but they are familiar).
As we settle into the summer season and patterns become familiar, it is important that we provide time and space to work through the reality of our stress and anxiety being above average (and not in a good way). This season is an opportunity for us to learn new things, to reflect, to experiment, and yes even to relax (taking a deep breath and recharging is critical).
So, I am working on taking my own advice.
I am learning Spanish (thank you Duolingo for reminding me that my streak will be up to 26 days of learning after today). I am reflecting on my own wellbeing (thank you Matt Bloom as I explore again your book “Flourishing in Ministry”). I am experimenting with exercising more and eating healthier (thank you to my doctor for reminding me that our bodies need caring for too). And later this week, I am relaxing as our family heads out for our first trip in well over a year to visit with extended family and splash in the Atlantic Ocean (or relaxing as much as you can with up to 16 people and 3 dogs in one house).
Following our own advice is sometimes harder than it should be, but it is still vital that we do it. My hope is that you too will take some time during this season to learn, reflect, experiment, AND relax!
May the peace of Christ be with you today and always.
Grace and peace, Bill Rev. William "Bill" McLean, II Presbyter for Congregational Care Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois