In pondering the frantic rush of what is regarded by some as the “Silly Season” with the added pressures of postings, comings and goings, finishing off things I was reminded of the following:
The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.
It makes me to lie down only when I am exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression, it hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activities sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done, for my ideal is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines, my in-basket overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.
(Monica K. Hornok, “Ps 23 Antithesis”)
Can you identify with that? I can! Yet the reality is it does not HAVE to be like that. What I am holding on to goes like this:
1-3 God, my Shepherd! I don’t need a thing
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
6 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.
(The Message by Eugene H Peterson)
Maybe it is time for you to get to know the Good shepherd as well over this Christmas break.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley