Hitting the Brakes

Even though I still intend on following my six-month project on being a Quaker minister, I’ve been slowing down on my blogging as part of my need to hit the brakes on all things that pull me away from other duties. This has included my internet¬†usage, though I am sure it is still higher than many folks! The last few days I’ve been having serious pain in my jaw, to the point that it feels like it may lock up on me. It won’t open very far and is creating a lot of tension in my head. Today I went and got a message from a friend which has thankfully helped some. But the other day when I called and talked to my mom about it (who has had to jaw surgeries for TMJ) she said it’s more than likely from stress. I told her I don’t feel stressed, which is really true. Actually, I feel less stressed than is normal for me (I think I have a fairly high tolerance typically), but I think regardless she’s right. I seem to carry my stress in my jaw because every time in the last few days when I start to feel tense for whatever reason I have a sharp pain in my mouth! Many nights Emily wakes me up with a nudge telling me I am grinding my teeth. I remember a few years back when I was first starting my PhD I was grinding at very persistent rate, which created all kinds of issues for me during the day.

So today while I was trying to remain quiet, reflecting on all of this, I was struck again by the mortality of life, of my own life. Life is so fragile, our bodies can only take so much. Lent for me is hitting the brakes, and working to build up the reserves a little. I don’t feel like I have much choice at this point but to respond in this way.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.