“…and should He come in the second or third watch and find them prepared blessed are those servants.” “He will have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.” Excerpts from Luke 12: 35-38
Have you ever been on a watch? I’m on the ancient third watch as I write this– the one from 3 AM to 6 AM. Of course I cheated. I awoke at 5 AM and it will be 6 AM in five minutes, and I assure you I haven’t been fully alert for most of that time.
We’ve all been on the ancient second and third watch, which taken together was approximately from midnight to 6 AM. These watches were and sometimes still are vital to survival. Staying awake with a sick child is a present day example. Holding on through a mental and emotional episode is another, though that is a different sort of watch.
There is a key to enduring the modern-day watches of depression, anxiety, or scruples. It’s not looking at the clock and wondering why time is going so slowly or looking at our uncooperative body and mind wondering if we can be alert. It’s paying attention to the lights at our disposal, the stars, moon, streetlights, and flashlights, which for the purposes of this post represent God, prayer, sacraments, medicines, therapy, and spiritual direction. These lights create respites during times of mental and emotional darkness. They get us through.
We need to look towards these divine and divinely inspired gifts using them to hang in there while we wait for the dawn. There will be a dawn. Depression, mania, panic attacks, and scruples come in episodes not constants.
There is one more thing to remember. The dark times even when they come more than once need not be so dark. We can keep the tools listed above close. Don’t leave the assorted lamps behind and you will be OK.
Of course there are also inspirational songs. Here’s one.