Upon returning home from the marathon, I feel like I've hardly had a moment to breathe. And I don't count those moments when I get home at 7:00pm and all I can think about is what I'm going to eat and if there is time for a show on TV before a shower and bed (which begins calling to me around 8:00pm). Although, to be honest, I did have a wonderfully luxurious nap on Sunday before tackling some housework.
Monday and Tuesday consisted of spending all day in the recording studio at work recording a class that I will then build and put online. In my 8ish months here at UAHuntsville Professional and Continuing Studies Dept, this has been my first encounter with a less than stellar instructor. I don't mean he's not intelligent - he is very much so. So intelligent that following the guidelines of our distance learning format when teaching was unacceptable. He basically did whatever he wanted while teaching his "in-class" class. As for the video I'm left to put online...well...it is not the high quality product I'm used to producing. When I tried to explain the guidelines we need instructors to follow, he informed me that he had done distance learning before and that he'd been teaching since 1984, which was probably before I was born. I'm not sure what my age had to do with anything but...there it was. I smiled and said okay.
At the very least, I look younger than I am. I decided to take that from the interaction and leave the rest. My lunch times, which is when I usually prefer to write or plan out the rest of my day/week, were cut short and the evenings were taken up as well. Monday night I attended the Michael Jackson themed cycling class as part of my assignment for the class I am taking, which is Group Fitness Instructing. Tuesday night I coached our No Boundaries group and then made a mad dash to Kroger to grab sandwich meat and bread so that we could have some semblance of dinner. Wednesday night I taught my 15 minute segment of a group fitness class, which went well according to my instructor. Tonight, I will go watch one of the kids who owns my heart (Caleb) play baseball directly after work. Friday is somewhat open, but I will need to get the house ready for Small Group, which is at my house Sunday evening. Saturday I will spend the day with my best friend in the world and Sunday I will attend church and host a Bible Study.
And then I will start again. This, just like being exhausted at mile 20 of a marathon, is what I try to avoid. I try not to fill every minute of my days so that there is time to reflect, think, pray and plan. Time to catch up. I like a clean house. I like empty laundry baskets. I like for there to be things in the fridge and pantry for Jason and I to eat. I like dinner to be planned before 7:30 hits and we are too tired to care. I like things...life...to be simple and orderly and uncluttered. But that is what I have felt lately. Cluttered. In mind and in action.
A friend of mine who is a missionary in Tanzania recently posted a blog about "Centering Down." While the type of prayer he described in his post is not new to me or probably to you, it is something I have not done. But I really want to. As soon as I read it, I thought why have I waited so long to try this? And then I thought when can I fit this in? Yes...when? I mean shouldn't this be more important than any of those things I listed above?
So, here's what I'm going to do. I am going to make room for meditative prayer and centering down, and I will do this multiple times before next Monday arrives. It is more important to me than running. It is more important to me than having an orderly house (although pushing that distraction away may be challenging). It is more important to me than work or the class I am taking (which...ha...most things are). It is more important to me than time with friends or family - although I often feel guilty for feeling that way.
And if you, dear reader have made it this far through my lengthy missive, I encourage you to leave this blog by way of "Aliens and Strangers" and go read what Brett has to say about this act of centering down. It may be old news, but it is definitely worth the refresh.