Working swing shift is definitely not my best. It messes with my eating, my sleeping and everything else too. I only have time for the bare essentials. I’ve done it enough times that I know I get crabby, sensitive and want to blurt out harsh words that I’m sorry for later. So is there anything good about it?
Yes! Working this schedule periodically is great because it strips me down to see what my basic spiritual priorities are. This time they were prayer, reading the Bible and watching what I say. These should probably always be priorities, but other things get crammed into life when there’s more space for them, right? That’s not a bad thing, but I really like the feeling of being stripped down to the bone every so often just to see where my head’s really at. It’s my own personal test.
This time I was happy with the results. I worked this shift for a week and only reacted with sharp words one time. That’s remarkable compared to other times I’ve been on this schedule!
The other great thing was that I made sure to get my prayer time in, praying prayers of praise to God, prayers against evil spiritual forces, praying for spiritual assistance for the needs of friends and family and special prayers for the couples I told I’d pray for the babies they want. I feel strongly about keeping my word when I say I’ll pray for someone and I was happy to see that even though I was exhausted in this crazy schedule, I managed to remember to pray like I know to do.
Thirdly, I made sure to read my Bible. Normally I listen to teachings and read a lot of different books as well, but I wouldn’t have time. In pressurized times like this, I would absolutely need to hear from God through His written word. And it was thrilling!
Each time I opened my Bible, I depended on the Holy Spirit to show me what to read and where to go. It was like a treasure hunt. I’d read, then I’d hear from the Lord, read and hear more from the Lord. It was some of the tightest times I’ve had with Him.
The swing shift schedule when it is only temporary is like a roller coaster ride: up, down, sharp corners throwing me side to side, stomach up in the air then back down. My only stability—knowing I was attached to the track.
When and if you get in this type of exhausting situation you have to look at it as a test. See where your spiritual priorities lie. You may be surprised like I was, to find out how well you do.
PS: My book WINGS: A Journey in Faith would be a great Christmas gift. The paperback as well as the e-book version are available on-line from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s a wonderful workbook with 52 chapters (one for each week of the year) and each with a few questions at the end for self reflection. An added bonus is the section in the back for special holidays. Enjoy!