Life has been busy - perhaps overly so, and much of that is my tendency to take on too much. Yes, I did retire from teaching public school full time, BUT I took on a part time teaching position at an online school, I decided to take on some substitute teaching, and then I got the bright idea to produce and direct a Passion Play in our community next Easter. Add to that my own writing and publishing, leading worship at our church, and my new and enhanced duties with InScribe - and 'retirement' is busier than ever!
I'm not really complaining - I have always been one who thrives on activity and who likes to be 'productive', but I am realizing I have to be very intentional about taking time to rest, and spending time communing with God, not just go through the motions. These are lessons I learned the hard way after my heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery last year and which I thought I had well in hand. However, I feel myself slipping back into old habits, which I believe contributed to my health issues in the first place.
Habits come in many forms. Some are physical things we do: indulge in foods that are not healthy, overeat, let the exercise routine slide, stay up too late watching Netflix and thus sleeping in in the mornings. If this sounds like ‘confession time’ then you’re correct! But I noticed a very subtle shift in other ways as well.
Some of you may have read about a miraculous picture God gave me before my heart surgery which mirrored exactly the clogged arteries that needed to be bypassed. In my vision, they were labelled FEAR, DOUBT, ANXIETY, and PRIDE. I believe that the physical surgery I underwent had spiritual implications, too, and I began to claim that all fear, doubt, anxiety and pride were bypassed in my life.
I can quite honestly say that this has been the case now for almost eighteen months. In fact, I have taken pride in the fact that I’ve felt almost zero stress or anxiety since that event. And therein lies the problem…
Yes, pride had very subtly crept back in, and anxiety soon followed. All the activity I mentioned at the beginning was suddenly weighing on me. Of special note is the ongoing website issues that InScribe has faced as we try to get our new site up and running. I began to see a parallel in what I was doing in the physical (ie: eating poorly, not exercising etc.) mirrored in my emotional state. Stress was back, bringing with it fear and doubt. That darn devil! How dare he?
I’m thankful that I have discerning friends. Karma Pratt, (who happens to be working on the website) texted me out of the blue at just the right time with some scripture she felt the Lord had for me. After talking with her and praying I suddenly made the connection between all that had been going on in my life, and my reversion back to ‘stress mode’. I’d let a little bit of negativity back in and it didn’t take long to multiply.
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump,” comes to mind. Once we let even a small amount of ‘leaven’ in, it soon tries to take over. This is true in the physical realm, the emotional realm, or the spiritual realm.
PS: I am happy to report that I am back on track health wise, and I am humbly releasing all my commitments – including the website – to God.
Tracy Krauss writes - among other things - from her home in northern BC. Visit her website for more: http://tracykrauss.com
- fiction on the edge without crossing the line -