Read Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46; John 6:14-15
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“To get wisdom is to love oneself; to keep understanding is to prosper.” (Proverbs 19:8)
Have you ever stopped to notice how busy you are? Or have you ever stopped to notice how busy everyone around you is? This world is non-stop business, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and three hundred sixty-five days a year. The world keeps on turning, spinning on its invisible axis, and there isn’t anything we can do about it.
Before we know it, years have gone by, our kids have grown up and we are wondering where the time went and not sure where we were when all of life blew past us like a jet plane. We hear plenty of catch phrases like, “Don’t let the world pass you by”, or “Don’t take life for granted”; yet, we often do take life for granted because we simply are too busy to do otherwise.
As a pastor of a church, a district youth director, a chaplain, a husband, and a father, I certainly know too well what being busy is all about. Each one of those titles bears with it a whole host of different duties that give me plenty of places to be and plenty of things to do. In the midst of all of the stuff that I have to do on any given day, it seems so easy to forget the one title has always defined who I am. The title of being ME.
How easy it is to forget that, in the midst of all the stuff each one of us has to do, it is important that we not forget to care for ourselves in the process. After all, God created us, not to be eternally busy, but to enjoy God’s creation. If we are a part of God’s creation, then it certainly follows that God created us to enjoy ourselves. But how many of us truly spend time on ourselves? How many of us truly take time away from our jobs, our chores and our families to spend quality time with ourselves? My guess is not too many of us.
But God is calling us to spend time with ourselves. God wants us to get to know who we are, to intimately spend time building a relationship with innermost selves. Jesus certainly knew this. If anyone was busy, Jesus was. Between preaching and teaching and healing and traveling and all of the other amazing things, Jesus was just about as busy as anyone could get; however, he also had no qualms about going up to the mountaintop to be alone and to pray.
God is calling us to do the same. There is nothing wrong with being busy, and there is certainly a lot of work for all of us to do; however, there is something wrong with not taking care of ourselves. And if we do not take care of ourselves, we really have no business trying to take care of others.
That is why, since January of 2012, I have made a point of taking care of myself. I run, I compose music, I write poetry, I sketch using charcoal, I hike and do a lot of different activities that get me in touch with myself. I have made it a part of my spiritual discipline to be alone and to care for me.
The question is not if you can do it…but will you do it? God wants you to get to know yourself, to spend alone time praying and meditating on Scripture. God wants us to not only be in relationship with God and with others, but to also be in relationship with ourselves. It is only then that we will be able to find the strength to do all of the other things God is calling us to do. Think about it. God is calling you to relax a little and enjoy being you! After all, you are a part of God’s good creation! So praise God and enjoy yourself!
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Lord teach me to love myself just as much as you love me. Then send me out with that love so I can share it with others. Amen.