Seems November is the pun month. Many will be familiar with Movember, the period of time when normally clean shaven men get around looking highly dubious with moustaches of varying success (all supposedly in aid of raising money and awareness for men’s health, though I do wonder whether all participants actually do the charity side of it). Well Mark Barry has just coined a new one – “NO-vember” and I think I’m going to adopt it as my cause. In fact, he just tweeted: “I’ve said ‘no’ to about 15 things this month. In retrospect, I should’ve asked people to sponsor me!”
For me, college has just wrapped up with exams, which has been stressful enough. But instead of being able to rest, it’s time to launch into a whole month of busyness. November/December is a stupidly busy time of year, especially so for people involved in churches. There are Christmas carol events, end of year celebrations, NTE conference and mission, evangelistic activities leading up to Christmas, not to mention Christmas itself.
The problem is all of these things are good to do. I love doing graphic design for my church. I love helping out with graphic design for a newspaper ad that will benefit a whole bunch of Eastern Suburbs churches. I love being part of planning carols events and I love being in them. I love working with the AFES team when they come to our church post-NTE for mission. I love doing music ministry at church and coordinating the team (for which I am paid). I love spending time with my Christian brothers and sisters, and I love going to church and reflecting on who Jesus is and the miracle that he came to earth as a man. It’s all wonderful stuff.
But there are still bills to pay, and Christmas always ends up expensive, no matter how much I try to stick to a budget. And while we do gospel work we still are meant to earn our keep and not be a burden on anyone. So I work as well. And I’m loving my work at K.K! And still doing transcription work on the side. And a little bit of (paid!) graphic design for my old church. But it doesn’t leave much time for anything else.
Rest becomes a complete crash at the end of the day. Gaps in the schedule leave me feeling guilty because there is Stuff To Be Done. And yet we are supposed to rest! We are supposed to have a sabbath. Because if we grind ourselves into the ground, how on earth will we be able to keep going in the long-term?
I’ve already had to say no to NTE, which pains me. I was so looking forward to going, but needed to work and it just became an impossible juggling act. And yet I still find myself agreeing to do things, even though I shouldn’t be able to fit anything else in. I keep forgetting I need so much more rest than the average person…
So I’m going to reflect on NO-vember. Even though it’s half over. There is still time to say no.