Vince Lombardi is credited with saying, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." The same words have also been credited to General George Patton. Irregardless, the truth remains that if manly men of football and war know that fatigue can break our spirits and cause us to cower, we can admit it too.
We've all had those days when the laundry list of life overwhelms us and instead of beginning at the top and working through it, we slump in a chair and whimper, unable to organize our thoughts enough to even choose where to start.
I remember day five of a siege of illness that plagued our family. The laundry backed up with fetid linen--the refuse of the children's illness--the dishes were piled like Mount Vesuvius and you could have turned my stove top into a Science Fair contender. Still, meals needed to be prepared and well-intended classmates kept stuffing make-up work through the doorway, despite my complete disinterest in participles, dangling or otherwise. It had been days since I had had more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep, and REM was a distant memory.How did I handle it? I sat in a chair and stared at the greasy water marks running down the front of the sink cabinet, the residual by-product of the well-est of the children's attempts to do the dishes. . . and then, good soldier that I am, I cried.
Tom was out of town as I recall, but other help was available. It almost always is, but I was too stubborn or proud to ask. And so, determined to stay in the pocket, to march on, I wore myself to a frazzle. I'm two decades older now, and I'm still that way to a degree. I'm buried by obligations right now and pressed against a wall of deadlines, but experience and wisdom have taught me to recognize when it's time to accept proffered help. And help is coming in abundance this weekend.
It's Conference weekend for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will sit and listen to the voices of modern day apostles and prophets of God, and feel the Lord's peace. And next week? Some of the things I pushed back today will still be there, but they'll concern me less. I'll remember what few things really matter, and I'll be still and remember that God is ultimately in charge.
Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble. But sometimes stuff just happens. Stuff is happening to a lot of people these days, but help is still at the ready, if we will accept it. Comfort? Peace? Could you use some of that? Then push the debris back for a few hours, and come listen with me. Their counsel isn't just for Mormons. It's for anyone hungering for a pocket of quiet and hope in the storm.
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