Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Monday, June 10, 2013

Making Room for God; a Forced Sabbath.

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

Making room for God; a forced sabbath.

Last Friday around 10:30am I was sitting in the YMCA membership office, checking on membership staff. I had already had a meeting, two counseling appointments, played basketball with Tony and Scotty (playing basketball with Tony and Scotty is a daily routine. Tony was a star athlete in high school and was all set to go to college on a basketball scholarship when he got into a bad car accident that changed his life forever. He has a brain injury that has left him with short-term memory lose and the emotional state of a 17-year old. Scotty was placed on oxygen when he was born and cannot speak. He has the mind of a four year old. Tony is 45-years old. Scotty is in his twenties.) I had made my morning rounds and was finishing up with membership. It had been a very good week; one that included speaking at summer camp staff trainings, connecting with faith community members, counseling sessions and finding resources for people with problems that ranged from relational problems, domestic violence, unemployment and homelessness, and attempted suicide.

I had been working until almost 10pm every night.

I was sitting in the membership office, checking in with the membership staff.

A typical check-in goes like this:
Me, "Good morning."
Staff, "Good morning."
Me, "How are you doing today."
Staff, "Ok." (This is actually an opportunity for me.)
Me, "Just ok? How come you are just ok?
Then the staff will tell me something that is bothering them that is making their day just ok. It gives me the opportunity to talk with them about what is bothering them and hopefully reframe things and refocus them.

I was sitting in the membership office, checking in with the membership staff.

I sat down in a chair, and said, "Good morning."

This is what happened.

The staff turns and looks at me and says, "Roger, you look terrible."

I am not one of those guys that spends a lot of time in the bathroom making sure every hair is in place before I go out the door, but I do shower, shave, comb my hair and try to look decent for people, so being told I look "terrible" set me back a bit. I sat there hoping that I would get an explanation, I did.
A board member who was walking by just then stops in to say hello.

The board member looks at me and says, "Roger, you look terrible."

They proceeded to tell me about the bags under my eyes, and that I looked exhausted.

I am thinking to myself, "Thanks a lot."

Then something amazing happened.

One of the staff asked to see my phone.

I gave her my phone.

She then called my appointments that I had scheduled for the weekend and explained that I was exhausted, she went on to tell them that the staff was worried about my health and that I was to do nothing but rest this weekend. She then emailed my wife to explain that I was looking very tired and that I should rest.

I was shocked.

I was amazed.

Both the board member and the staff proceeded to tell me, "Roger, you spend your entire day looking after us. You take on the troubles of the staff, members and community. We are only looking after you."

I admitted that I was feeling a little run down.

Sometimes God shows up in the funniest places.

Sometimes we see Him in the blue sky and clouds.

Sometimes we see Him when we walk in the country.

Sometimes we see Him in a staff member and a board member.

I went home, my wife met me at the door and made me take a nap.

It is Sunday morning, I have rested and feel much better. I will spend the rest of the day puttering in my yard and thanking God for the people that care enough to tell me when to go home.

One of the dangers of living your calling is that it does not feel like work.

I counsel people; staff, members, those that I talk with on the importance of taking a sabbath.

I am terrible at taking a sabbath.

I must learn to follow what I ask others to do.

Thank you God for showing up through a couple of people at the YMCA.


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