Some days I feel like Helen in The Incredibles. She is the Superhero Mom, Elastigirl. She can stretch in every direction and take on cool shapes to save the world (and her kids) from harm and evil. I'm not nearly as strong and flexible, fearless or invincible. And my day-to-day mission does not feel quite as critical. But in one respect, I do resemble her. I sometimes feel I'm being stretched to the max. Like silly putty or taffy, pulled so thin, you can practically see through it.
Now I know I'm the kind of person who likes to have a lot going on, so most of this is my own doing. But lately I've been feeling like there simply aren't enough hours in the day. And yet, I bet even if days ran for 28 hours, 32 hours, or more, I probably still wouldn't be able to cram everything in.
I know I'm not the only one feeling this way. We've all got numerous demands on our time and energy. How do we manage all of these competing needs from our personal lives, studies and jobs? Can we do it all? Should we do it all? And how do we de-stress in the middle of it all?
I'm going to focus on the last question. For ideas on how to de-stress, I looked first to see what Jesus did. He was in demand, BIG-time! I read this passage in Mark 1, that said He was healing people right and left until "the whole town gathered at the door." This wasn't a few people. It wasn't a crowd. It was the WHOLE TOWN. Everybody. They wanted Him like He was the new iPhone 6.
So what did Jesus do, when everyone was seeking Him out? "Jesus healed many who had various diseases." It didn't say that He healed everyone. He healed many. I take comfort from this because to me it means that even Jesus, who could do it all if He wanted to, didn't do it all. He had the self-imposed limitations of being in one body, at one point in time. As one person, He could only spend time with and heal so many people at a time.
And then, check out what He did the next day: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed."
Jesus knew what to do when demands were great.
1. He did what He could.
2. He got away to recharge.
He connected with His Father, the Creator, in the quiet of creation, for restoration, peace and prayer.
Today I did the same. I worked for a while and then I deliberately went outside to look at the clouds, to marvel at the creation and its Creator. (Too often we adults only get outside between places---walking from the car to the office, or from the car to the grocery store, etc. And the only nature we see is our screensaver image of the forest and waterfall.)
Looking up at the sky, my to-do list suddenly felt less pressing. I breathed easier. I felt restoration, peace, and joy as I sang and just hung out.
I love this and want to do it again and again. Rather than being stretched to the limit, I want to look at the expansive stretch of sky and stretch my arms upward in praise and release.