Some days I wake up to and wonder why they’re here. I wonder to myself what good can come from this glaring insistence that this day could be better passed by sleeping it away. Then I turn over for another attempt at sleep, realizing that nothing fruitful is going to come from such a response. i then roll flat on my back as people often do and stare directly at nothing in front of me and just groan at the fact that I just do not want to face the day. In fact, I’d rather face the inside of my bedroom for the rest of the day than get up and go to work or to the church or really much of anything and as I crawl to the edge of my bed I ponder. I wonder about the burning sensation in my eyes, the unexplained tension in my neck and shoulders and the fog in my brain. All these things are normal morning things for me since I’m decidedly nocturnal.
But some days it just doesn’t go away.
I can’t explain why. Not this early.
So, I am able to hoist myself from the mattress into my morning and out the door quite easily. I’ve decided I could do my morning routine in my sleep if it was required. I get dressed in what is my usual daily attire, – Black everything with a hoodie on top – I grab my dickies messenger bag that is now on its 7th year and is looking a little worse for the wear and I head out the door. I get into my car, crank something that I hope will pull me out of this morning funk and get out of my driveway and a few blocks away before I realize I forgot to take my heart medication but decide it’s too late and keep going on the assumption that it won’t kill me (It really won’t. Don’t worry)
I arrive at my destination feeling no better but no worse for the wear either. I do realize within the first few minutes of being there that I am in no shape to talk to anybody or endure any sort of cognitive process. I push through because, honestly, I feel that I need to and that’s the way life needs to be.
It’s only until I get to my job that I realize what the real issue is. I feel that odd, burning tension in my gut for a little while and I find my focus is just about shot to pieces. I have little to no patience with the people around me and am extremely thankful I’m not taking phone calls for 7/8’s of my shift. I can feel that last straw and I remember a very large part of who I am is screaming for some sort of sensory deprivation so I don’t have to tolerate the influx of people and environment.
I am an introvert with extroverted tendencies.
I stress that I am an introvert.
We introverts are an interesting breed, especially those of us who don’t let life manhandle us into a life of seclusion. It works for some but not for all and so I know there are people out there who fight this same fight with themselves and struggle to love people when people are the last thing that they want to be dealing with. It’s something I’ve had to contend with all my life and it’s something that I’ve just had to understand and navigate myself.
Since I was a kid I’ve always known that I need that time away from personal interaction so I can recharge a little bit. As I’m writing this I’ve actually holed up in my office at the church where I will be left alone. The day I described above was my day today. I thought I was going to lose it completely at work today because, along with the exhaustion that this week has caused, I hit a wall emotionally and got pretty depressed. I switched over to some more upbeat music and that actually helped quite a bit.
I love the power of music.
But it just goes to show that something in the rhythm of my routine just isn’t quite right. There’s this thing in the Bible that is referred to as the sabbath. The sabbath is a day of rest which is first illustrated in Exodus 16 where the Hebrew people are given bread from heaven called manna. It’s interesting because YHWH provides for them all that they need six days out of the week and tells them on the seventh there won’t be any manna because the seventh day is to be kept holy. YHWH’s normal promise of provision is even altered on the sixth day to allow for the seventh.
In Exodus 20:8-10, YHWH lays out the law about the sabbath stating that it is to be kept holy, that no work was to be done. This commandment was skewed a lot as the year progressed and, indeed, seems to be misunderstood by Jews and Christians alike. In my personal experience, I can see in my normal rhythms that my body and mind cry out for rest about once a week as if I were designed that way. That thought is interesting. Is the commandment of Sabbath there to say, “You were built this way. Your natural tendency will be to fight against that so I give you this command for your own good.”
Sometimes I wonder if pushing myself as hard as I do is counter YHWH’s command. I currently have a day I consider my day of rest but it’s interesting to me how fast that day gets filled up with things I need to do until it’s not a day of rest. To just illustrate how bad it can get, I can tell you I felt much better just getting out of the building I work in and into my car. The moment the car came on and the music started playing I instantly felt better. The sheer violence of such change makes me wonder.
There’s a church near where I work. As I walk out the doors I can see the cross that sits on top this massive structure and that usually sparks some thought and I’m able to sort of center myself again. Or at least, I try to. It doesn’t always work, sadly. But I’d like to think I will find rest in Jesus after all the garbage that I go through because of the volatility of the inside of my head.
It’s well established that Jesus had to retreat and pray every now and again. So, I think from now on I’m really going to work on finding some time to go hide off the grid and away from people for a while each week just to get myself back closer to center. I don’t know where I’ll go or how I’ll pull it off but I’ll pray that I figure it out for my own sake as well as the sake of others.
I need some rest.
I’m sick of being tired.