Relax! Let the Mind Rest

photo by soukup

“The mind needs to lay fallow from time to time.” -My Spiritual Director

 

Not too long ago, I was getting caught up in my ministry in a way that is not usual for me. I was really busy juggling multiple summer events that were coming my way. I was feeling stressed about the events and I was allowing the small details to ruin my attitude. The pace of my ministry had increased and I had to focus more on the details of each event as it got closer.

At the same time, I was feeling a need to be uber-productive in light of my busyness. I was working more hours than usual. I was responding to ministry emails from home. When I was home, I couldn’t stop thinking about my ministry. My mind was going crazy!

It was time to pause.

I had a regularly scheduled meeting with my spiritual director right in the middle of all of this. I shared with him how I was feeling and I how I felt that I couldn’t relax. My mind was in overdrive. I also shared that I felt like I was making more mistakes than usual and that I had the feeling that my summer events were not going to go well. In turn, that made me feel like a bad leader and that my whole ministry was going downhill.

My spiritual director provided some spiritual prospective.

He described to me how the evil spirit likes to jump into these little cracks in my life and try to widen them and make me feel like things are not going well in ministry. Because of that, he said that I was feeling like I was not confident in my leadership and the small things were becoming way bigger than they needed to be.

He was right! The evil spirit was winning.

The fact was that almost every part of my ministry was going well. I was allowing small mistakes or missteps to be big deals. They weren’t a big deal. I was making them a big deal.

Then my spiritual director said what is quoted at the top.

I have a tendency to think too much, solve every problem, make everything right, and do everything with excellence. I believe this is a great quality about myself. I work hard! However, taken to an extreme, this quality can be a liability. Why? Because I have to rest my brain, I can’t solve every problem, I can’t make everything right, and I make mistakes with excellence!

Relax. Let the mind lay fallow. Okay, I have some work to do.

Do you have difficulty relaxing and allowing your mind to lay fallow?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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