This weekend was one of those in which I had arranged, by my own choice, to be of help to several different people in a very few days. I have no desire to share details or aggrandize my efforts, because I'm not any different than any other person I know and because that's not the point. The point is how important it is to be willing to serve, to help, and to get outside one's own needs as often as one possibly can.
As the school year gets underway, things start to get busy, and the digital calendar I currently use becomes a veritable mosaic of pastel-colored rectangles. As the time fills up, I start to operate in a near-constant state of heightened awareness that easily tips over into stress. Some days it gets to actual anxiety as I breathe a little faster and my heart rate goes up as I wonder how I'll get it all done.
So, it would follow that during a weekend when I spent 6 hours away from the house volunteering for the high school and then on Sunday, and when opportunities to settle back and just listen and worship and absorb spiritual strength were few and my church experience was mostly just busy; my stress level would go up and not down and even send the needle way over into the anxiety zone.
But there's the rub. It just doesn't work that way. Not for me anyway. As I arrived back home from church on Sunday to my first opportunity of the weekend to have free time, I felt wonderful. Calm. Happy. Renewed. Ready for the week ahead. I was even energized enough to make a real dinner, which hasn't happened much this summer. It just never fails that when I am all sucked into the vortex of worry that I'll fail at what I'm trying to do and I reach out to God for relief, the answer almost always comes in the form of helping someone else. Perspective, endorphins, being with other people, all of it. It just works as serious therapy for me.