Yesterday was a kind of funny day. I had an important meeting that I was quite stressed about, mainly because I wasn't sure what was on the agenda. I don't know about you, but I think there's something unnerving about being asked to meet but not being sure what will be discussed.
I was told about the gathering several weeks ago, so there was more than enough time for the tension and anxiety to ratchet up. In these times, you just don't know if you're going to be told you're getting a pink slip, or that you'll be called upon to do even more with even less. I talked about all this the night before with a priest-friend of mine, who also serves as my spiritual director. He gave me some great advice.When we find ourselves stressed out, fearful, anxious, depressed, etc., you can be pretty sure that these feelings aren't coming from God. You need to step back, assess the situation, try and figure out what's actually going on, and pray.
So, he and I spent Monday evening trying to do just that. I was certainly more peaceful when I left him, but I can't say that the anxiousness was completely gone.
Without going into all the details, the meeting went very well. Nothing to fear, nothing to be stressed about. When it's all said and done, there was a very positive effect of all that stress. I was extraordinarily prepared.
Now, it's hard to be totally prepared for a meeting where you're not sure what will be discussed. But for several days, I had rolled around several different scenarios in my head, and I had done some research to equip myself as best I could. I also prayed about it. A lot. That proved to be a winning strategy.
Friends, I know these are anxious times. Everyone has some concern that seems to take up a lot of thinking time. Be it health, finance, relationships, most of us are stressed about something. Taking time to think it through, praying about it, talking the issue over with a trusted friend, will no doubt bring you some peace, and allow you to deal with whatever it is.
When it's all said and done, I'm sitting here this morning realizing that I wasted a lot of extra energy on that meeting. The anxiety did force me to be better prepared, but I now wish I would have done a bit more praying and a little less stressing.