By Kristen Schulte
I sat in mass this past Sunday overwhelmed and convicted. The priest spoke a familiar message about how pursuing a relationship with Christ takes sacrifice, but for some reason, it resonated more than ever.
“You are going to have to give up some of your time,” he said.
“This means less time spent in front of the TV and more time spent reading blogs and articles designed to teach about God.”
My chest throbbed and tears of anxiety welled in my eyes. I wish I could give up watching TV. I don’t even watch TV anymore.
My self-imposed busy life suffocates me.
I think about it. I read about it. I believe I have even written a blog about it before. I recognize that many people out there are busier than me and am not trying to use it as a badge of honor; I think I just need to reach out to someone—anyone—in hopes of finding a person who had once also cornered herself into all sorts of obligations and managed to emerged from it as a balanced individual.
I seek balance daily; I schedule myself silly in order to achieve balance. When I got to grad school, I was so afraid of being one of those people who spent all of her time studying that I carved out ample time for school and filled every other free minute with anything else imaginable.
Is it Tuesday? Let me just open my planner: 15 minutes of prayer, 10 hours of clinical, 1 hour of preparing meals, 2 hours of studying, 1 hour of exercise, 30 minutes of showering, 2 hours of my side job, 15 minutes of reflection, and 7 hours of sleep. At the end of the day, I applaud myself for learning, eating somewhat healthily, exercising, earning enough money to pay for next week’s groceries, and of course connecting with God (however brief). I think to myself That’s balance!, all the while going to bed feeling overwhelmed, empty, and dreading the next equally scheduled day.
but, in theory, it is balanced, and such was my predicament when I listened to Sunday’s homily. What am I supposed to give up to make more time for improving my relationship with God?
The truth that hit me hard during mass is that living a healthy, balanced life and living a godly life are actually inseparable. I cannot live a balanced life without first seeking a life centered around God. That is why I still feel empty after an otherwise balanced day; it is because in the midst of all of the seemingly healthy activities, I limit God’s presence in my life to 15 minutes.
I don’t yet have the perfect solution for how to allow more God and less me into my “balanced” life. I just know that I have to work on it and go about it in a different way than I ever have. I am so glad that you have been tuning into the health and wellness series at The Living Person; in my priest’s eyes, the minutes that you have spent here reading interpretations of the gospel are a few less minutes that you have spent mindlessly watching TV. Every week, the team of writers, myself included, aim to inspire you to meet your healthy lifestyle goals in the light of God blessing us with the gifts and talents to do so.
Mind you, the key words here are in the light of God, and that is what makes these entries so different from just any wellness blog.
I will admit it: I have been missing the center of balanced living (God) so much so that I just may have been missing the point of this blog series.
So this week, I want myself and whoever else needs it to hear one thing and one thing alone: If you, like me, are struggling to get right what it means to live a healthy and balanced life, we need only to seek Him first
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristen believes that any day on a lake is a good day, in baking pumpkin muffins as the key to friendship, in Settlers of Catan for quality family time, that God often speaks during long runs, and in enjoying the journey. Having earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree at Xavier University, she continued onto the University of Dayton where she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.