“Do not grow weary in doing what is right.” (Galatians 6:9)
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who died on September 5, 1997, was one of the greatest spiritual “overachievers” of our time. She accomplished so much, that we might think she rarely took a break from tending to the human misery that surrounded her.
However, she spent hours every day before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration of Jesus, who was her source of strength and goodness. In fact, she is quoted as saying, “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”
What a concept—to love without getting tired. We often don’t realize how tired we really are until we have reached the meltdown stage. The mountain of responsibilities before us each day—whether at home, at work, or both—and the demands on our time and attention can be overwhelming. The old adage to “love until it hurts” is sometimes taken too seriously. On top of that, when we fall short of our expectations, we carry a burden of unrealistic guilt. This self-defeating pattern can cause us to “burn out” as a parent, spouse, friend, or member of the body of Christ.
Perhaps Mother Teresa’s example of giving the first hours of the day to Christ is not practical for you, but maybe giving him the first five or ten minutes could be. Offer your tiredness to the Lord, and ask him to renew your strength for whatever lies ahead of you that day.
And make a habit throughout the day of sharing with God your joyful moments as well as your challenges. The Lord, who is always with you, will renew you, so that you can keep going on those very busy days.
The rhythms and responsibilities of our lives will often require us to make adjustments in the amount of effort we put forth. We aren’t capable of doing everything—which is as important for us to realize as it is for those who depend on us. But with God’s grace, we can cheerfully love and give as much as we are able.
“Lord, help me to accomplish my tasks today. Inspire me, energize me, and give me the positive attitude I need to show your love to others.”
(C) ANNE COSTA