Tuesday, March 25, 2008

meltdown

I am tired today. It has been just a few too many days in a row filled with non-stop activities and large groups of people and lots of stimulation and a few things going wrong. I love all of it (except the things going wrong), but it takes a toll on someone like me who is not naturally an extrovert, but can act extrovertedly sometimes. In fact, I overextended myself to the point of having a bit of a meltdown. Pretty ugly one, too. On Sunday night, I felt a haze of anger and frustration come over me and I did not have the strength to fight it off. Or perhaps I did and simply made the choice not to. People were gracious enough to forgive my outburst of inappropriate words and actions and prayed for me (we were at church, after all ). I knew I was overtired and had not eaten properly, so I went home and got some sleep and ate a meal or two and thought that was the end of it.

But - whammo - last night I felt the unwelcome frustration come at me again at the end of a long day of running around. I managed to avoid an emotional train wreck, but was pretty disturbed at my state of mind. Why why why? I asked myself. If grace and love and forgiveness and mercy and faith only work when I am well-rested and my blood sugar is good, that is pretty sad. I knew my energy levels were low. I knew I had not eaten a decent meal. I knew I was physically tired. I knew I was annoyed at losing over and over again at some silly game, but those were just peripheral facts, or rather, excuses. Nevertheless, as far as I could figure out, it was probably a food issue - I really crash hard sometimes when my energy levels drop.

This afternoon after French class (during which I could not seem to form one correct sentence...arghhhh), I sat down with my Bible, read a few pages to get some perspective on life, and asked God about this latest inadequacy on my part. What was lacking in me? He confirmed that, yes indeed, it was a food issue, but not really a physical one. The problem that I encounter when I am surrounded by many people and involved in lots of activities is that I don't take the time to feed my spirit. I just keep going, fed by the excitement or demand of it all. And when I hit empty, I come to a screeching halt and can only serve up what is scraping around the bottom of my soul, the dregs of an imperfect personality: frustration, annoyance, anger, impatience, perfectionism...you get the point.

A lady in my French class gets up at 5 am every morning to prepare food for her family - fresh, homemade, wholesome food made from scratch, never leftover from the day before. It is amazing the amount of energy and effort some of us expend to feed our bodies. But how much time do we spend at the table nourishing our spirits? I don't know about you, but I sure could use a good meal right about now.

You led me to your banquet room and showered me with love.
from Song of Solomon 2 (Contemporary English Version)

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
from Psalm 23 (The Message)

This is a stairway in Port Dalhousie, Ontario, taken during a walk on Easter weekend.

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