A PRAYER FOR INTROVERTS

Even though I had 9 good hours of sleep last night I still woke up tired.  So I’ve been thinking a lot all morning about how exhausting the two week holiday marathon at the end of December can be for introverts like me.  When I was a full time pastor I blamed my tiredness on how busy the Advent/Christmas/New Year’s season is in the life of the church.  Now that I am retired that explanation doesn’t work; especially this year when we celebrated Christmas Eve on line because of the nasty winter storm which canceled in person worship for many churches.

And then I read on Facebook that today, January 2, is actually World Introvert Day.  Here’s what I found in a quick Google search: “Introverts worldwide will be able to celebrate World Introvert Day on January 2. This is the day following the dreadful celebrations of the previous year has ended. It allows them to enjoy solitude finally and recharge their social batteries.  World Introvert Day started when psychologist and author Felicitas Heyne published this blog post calling for a day for us quiet ones.”

And so I wrote this prayer:

Holy One, I am grateful for the spiritual lessons of Advent and Christmas and for the changing of the calendar as a time for reflection and renewal, but I’m worn out.  I enjoyed time with families and friends and lots of good food and fellowship.  But I’m tired; I’m tired of people and parties.  I’m tired of hearing the same holiday songs on a continuous loop.  I need some peace and quiet, solitude and time to just breathe and be. 

I need a sabbatical, and I know you get it, God, even if my extrovert friends never seem to run down.  You took a day off after creation and rested.  You included honoring Sabbath rest in your Top Ten rules for living.  So thank you for that.  Please help me to not feel guilty for putting my feet up and taking a nap today.  Please help me set healthy boundaries on my energy levels; to remind myself and others that we introverts need downtime and solitude to recharge our batteries. 

We can do the party circuit.  We can prepare holiday meals and clean up.  We can play games with the grandkids.  But it drains our energy, and we need time to refresh, especially this time of year when the calendar is super full of events we want to attend.   I even surprised myself this year that I was able be more present and active with family and friends, even when I didn’t feel like it beforehand.  And then I crash when the party is over. 

Please help me be gentle with myself; to not give up or get frustrated, but to rest when I’m tired.  I think Isaiah must have been thinking of us introverts when he said, “God does not faint or grow weary; God’s understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted, but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;  they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (40:28-31)

Thank you, source of all energy, for Sabbath moments or days when we can simply wait on you.  Amen

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