BHAY Blog 7 of 14 in series“Good to Go, Hard to Leave”: Energy Conservation

A lovely lily, blooming where it”s planted

It’s been so hot and so very humid with lower air quality here in SW Pennsylvania; my window air conditioners have been running non-stop for over a week. This gives me two rooms in the house that are comfortable during the day, two rooms where I’m willing to put forth more than minimum effort in this heat. The combination of heat and this transition means I’m moving as if I’m knee deep in molasses, getting things done, barely. 

As a result I’m making choices on a triage basis: what needs to be done now, what would be nice to get done now, and what could just as easily be done later. Since changing jobs and homes involves a certain kind of grief, I’m also doing what I did when I was in first state of grief after the death of my parents: writing things done. If things are not written down, they slip off my personal radar screen. When I’m tired, stressed, involved in a personal transition, my mind becomes a steel colander and facts, ideas, commitments, and to-do lists just evaporate. That’s why I’m so grateful for the existence of planners and calendars. They help me cope and compensate for my personal challenges.

I would never tell someone with a broken ankle that they should walk without their crutches, nor suggest that someone with cataracts or glaucoma should skip helpful surgeries and just try harder to see, nor that a diabetic’s blood sugar could be controlled by will power and so taking insulin was a sign of weakness and lack of faith. Struggling people, whether in pain, grieving, dealing with health problems or chronic conditions, are doing the best they can with the energy they have available. Some days it takes more energy to put one foot in front of the other than it would take on another day to run a marathon.

Today I decided to invest my energy in spending time with the Knotty Knitters and not to make a six-hour roundtrip drive on the same day that I have several other commitments and deadlines to meet as well. I’m a finite individual, so I’m choosing to conserve my energy for the long haul – this transition will be a marathon, not a sprint. I pray and hope that I will use my energy and time in ways that will also benefit others and be useful to the community and God’s Kingdom. 

One place to spend my energy is in praying and finding ways to support the people of Haiti and those responding to the destruction caused by earthquake and flooding, the people of Afghanistan especially refugees and the women and girls who will be living under the Taliban, those affected by the wildfires in California and Siberia and other parts of the world, and all those with their own personal energy crises.

Today’s Prayer Poem is “Fire” by Judy Brown from her book The Sea Accepts All Rivers:

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

Grace and peace,

Caroline

2 thoughts on “BHAY Blog 7 of 14 in series“Good to Go, Hard to Leave”: Energy Conservation

  1. I’m so grateful for you, Caroline! Even in the midst of what feels like molasses, you’ve put into clear words what you’re experiencing, giving yourself and your readers Grace in the process. It’s the most beautiful gift that you always offer! – born of pain and struggle in naming your own feelings, fears, and faith in God’s ability to create life and new life.

    Thank you, dear friend! I wish I could be physically with you to help, but know my prayers continue for you!

    Love, Megan

    Like

    1. Thank you, Megan, for your kind words and the generous gift of reading my blog! I appreciate both very much, as I am so glad to have you as a friend. Blessings as you share your positive energy throughout your ministry.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Like

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