The holidays are coming. Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, New Year’s all in one huge whoosh and then just when you think you can breathe again … it’s Lent! Please don’t stop reading, I have a thought (or two) that may help.
For the last 20 years or so I have worked in a parish in various highly visible positions. People stopped me constantly with a great idea or better way to do some task or another event to add to the schedule. It was very tiring and often at an inconvenient time, because dismissal for 300 children from religious education class is the perfect time to have a serious conversation, right?
I digress, back to helpful thoughts. When people rush at you or even one person rushing at you to do this VERY IMPORTANT THING, listen, smile, nod and then take a moment to stop, hit the pause button and change your thought, reaction, words from negative to positive, from critical to helpful, from grating to grateful. I’ve learned to take a moment and frame my response. We all know that words cannot be taken back once they are said. And while we may want the response to be “yes” don’t say answer right away. Say, “that’s sounds like fun but I need to check my main calendar before I let you know,” or whatever is appropriate. No one really needs to know immediately unless it involves the ER. Try not to get drawn in to others’ needs if those needs will become your problems. Remember “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Take a moment.
The moment helps me to remember that I am not in control, God is; I need to call on the Holy Spirit, not only in difficult times but in good times as well. The Spirit will help me do the right thing. It may be saying yes, or it may be saying no.
As I write this I realize that some of us can say yes to many things due to our personality or state in life. Don’t worry if others say yes more than you do; do what God is calling you to and let go of the rest.
Copyright 2017 Deanna Bartalini