Ever had one of those weeks? The ones where order and peace turns into fully fledged mayhem? Somehow, it is September (which was always somewhere in the distant future of this year), and next time I'm back on campus, it's going to be OCTOBER.
After running around like a madman for 4 days at Ignite Conference, planning the Recharge Retreat, organising the next CourTalk and general Chaplaincy shenanigans, these last weeks have been rather flat out. I would imagine most of you at this time of year would be able to relate this into your own lives. Exams & Assessments, Jobs, Family Life, Sports, events and other commitments. Sleep. I could go on.
My natural impulse when mayhem & busyness arrive is to put my head down, and go full steam ahead until all of the tasks have been achieved, or until I am at a point of exhaustion. Make all the things happen, achieve the deadlines, delegate, live in the stress. And as things stack up, I find myself descending into over-tiredness, negativity and losing lots of the productivity for the tasks I'm stressing about.
At the start of this year, in a group of 40 people we were set a task to get into groups of 3, and brainstorm a figurative Catholic event, idea or thing, all in three minutes. The room got so busy, everyone frantically writing, talking excitedly and trying to create something amazing. At the end of the three minutes, the speaker stopped us and got us to face the front. Rather then asking what we planned or what great idea's we had, the first thing he asked was "How many groups prayed before they started?" Maybe 2 or 3 of the groups in the room did, the rest of us had consciously or unconsciously decided there wasn't enough time, or we didn't need it.
Many great ideas came out of that brainstorming session, but it was that point that stuck with me. No matter the time, task or situation, praying before you start is always a beneficial.
Back in the mayhem, how will you deal with one of those weeks? Will you actually trust in God to help out, and allow him to be there for you like he said he would?
Take time to stop, reflect and ask God to watch over you, ask Jesus to walk with you, and the Holy Spirit to fuel & help you in your work (& stress).
For me, it meant writing this reflection, stopping and thinking about how He could help me in my work. God isn't just there on Sunday's, nor in a set-aside time of prayer. He is present for you now and always. Let him guide you out of the mayhem.
This reflection was written by Nick Kelly, whom is known for over-committing all throughout his life, bringing often unnecessary mountains of stress and chaos upon himself. In High School, he enjoyed the "running lunch" (eating lunch on the fly), and during University he found himself on 3 executive boards within 1 month of his first year of University. He has since slowed down. Slightly.