We just had an all-church retreat… first time in close to ten years, I believe. When you’re at a church with 1000+ adults, attempting an all-church retreat is no picnic. The last week leading up to the retreat was crazy!!! I’m used to the craziness… I’ve been organizing vacation bible schools for almost 20 years now… I’ve led many all-church or children’s ministry events. I used to be an event planner. I’m used to having my life stop for the sake of getting one event come together.
Leading up to this retreat, my life was already crazy with family and personal drama… but I was able to put it all aside in preparation for this retreat. I had been running around for 2 full days just shopping for the retreat… In fact, I literally had forgotten to eat for two days… If you know me, that RARELY happens… and I wasn’t kidding when I say I lost 5 lbs during this time. Well, the retreat came and went… and everyone had a great time.
On my drive home on Sunday afternoon, my first thoughts were “now, I have to deal with everything that I had put on back burner for the past week,” followed by a big sigh. Once someone said to me, “you know, I’ve done drugs, I’ve gotten drunk every night, I’ve smoked everything I could find… but when I get sober again, all my problems are still here.” Well, DUH… we all know this (at least I hope we do…) but it occurred to me that sometimes my busyness is my drug.
The retreat isn’t bad in itself… all the events I’ve been part of weren’t bad, pointless events… When you’ve been in church ministry for close to 20 years, life is always busy. But it sometimes becomes a distraction or diversion from dealing with what I really need to do–personally and in ministry. It’s easy to put my family on hold while I’m busy prepping for a big church event… and they’re gracious and understanding (most of the time). It’s easy to put my personal issues and feelings on hold while I’m running around like a headless chicken. But when the event is over, nothing has changed… and I either have to deal with them… or find another way to keep myself busy. As I was in the middle of drafting this blog, I decided to take a break and watch one of my favorite blogger’s Tedx Talk: Kristen Howerton… and what a God thing that she talks about this exact topic–diversion!
And this quote completely caught my attention: “The only way to work through crappy feelings is to walk through crappy feelings.” So I will end with her talk and this: My name is Gloria, and busyness is my drug… and I’m ready to deal with my crappy feelings.