Offered by Louisa Baker, PhD, ECCT’s Interim Director of Wellness Programs
Jesus said: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Rest sounds nice when the phone buzzes in the middle of the night. Heart racing, I lift myself out of the cocoon of my warm comforter, rub the sleep from my eyes, and wonder where I put my glasses.
I’m the Interim Director of Wellness Programs at ECCT and a practicing psychotherapist. People who reach out to me need someone to listen to them, and sometimes advice. They’ve reached out because they didn’t know what else to do.
Here’s the thing: those calls don’t only come in the middle of the night, and they don’t only come for someone with my professional training. They also come for clergy. They come for parents. They come for you.
They come when we’re at church, when we’re in meetings, when we’re preparing for a project, when we’re talking with parishioners, clients, or our friends, when we’re running meetings, and when we’re with our kids.
Technology makes us reachable – in all these scenarios.
So, when I’m asked to reflect on wellness, I think about connection and disconnection, about exhaustion, and about hope and discouragement. Even when we carve out time to take care of ourselves by taking a nap, showering, going on a walk, or calling a friend, many people still feel exhausted.
We’re on call. All. The. Time.
On call to the realities of caring for others.
On call to our work.
On call to the guilt of knowing we need to put our oxygen masks on before we help others and not doing that, because we think we should be able to power through and do it all.
What if God was calling us to do something different?
What would happen if we shared our burdens and joys with God, who tells us time and again that she’s on call to us? There for us when we’re ready?
If we could convince ourselves to try on something new, what would it feel like to give our troubles to God? How would we know we were doing it?
We’d pray. A lot.
Then, we’d prayerfully say no sometimes, even when we wanted to do something.
We’d prayerfully say yes other times, particularly when we wanted to do something.
We’d return to our church communities, virtually or in person.
We’d sing. We’d dance. We’d be silly.
We’d step away from the technology… sometimes.
We’d breathe deeply.
We’d ask for help.