As someone that was a young adult in the 80’s, I find that I have difficulty taking care of myself. I really believed that I could have a family, career, and take care of everything; all by ourselves. What a foolish notion. Some went as far as dressing like men to become more equal in the workplace. We drove ourselves crazy. We gave ourselves early heart attacks. Yep even I fell into the do it all trap. Now we have children that feel entitled. Blech. The problem is when you stop trying to do it all, you really don’t stop. The next step in the vicious cycle is servant hood. We have cut back on the career, but now we are soccer moms, and the fixture volunteer at church or wherever we decided to volunteer. Every time someone asks us for a favor or to bake brownies, we are there.
One of my younger friends once told me, If you don’t start taking care of yourself and find balance, you are going into an early grave. Remember Martha and Mary. Luke 10: 38-42:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
See Mary understood what Martha did not. Mary understood that she needed time to recharge her batteries. She needed time to recharge her soul. Listening to Jesus – wow if I could have been there to hear Jesus in person. But I can’t What I can do is to spend time reading one of the many Christian readers that breaks down the Bible into little tiny bites so we can understand it. We need to spend time in quiet prayer. How much is up to the individual, but as you spend time in the word, and in prayer, it becomes easier to hear Jesus. This feeds your soul and gives you peace and inner strength. But that is not all.
Not only do we need to feed our soul, we need to find ways to say NO. Yes people’s feelings are going to be hurt. But sometimes it is just people that need to learn to help themselves. The Bible is strong on that point. Romans chapter 7, Paul took work as a tentmaker to provide for himself as to not be a burden. People need to be allowed to help themselves.
But taking time for just me is hard. I have to remember that my body is the Lord’s temple and that I have to care for my body as well. It really is logical. I mean think about it, if I do not take care of myself, if I allow my basket to get empty, then I do not have to give to others, to carry on the mission God gave me. I have to do things that help me enjoy life.
Someone should have stopped the Bacon lady- you know I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget that you are a man. Yeah I should be able to work 8 hours a day, take care of the kids, the house, the meals and then be a rocket in bed. Who really has all that energy? No one.The best part is God did not intend us to be this crazy person. No he intended us to be his light, his temple. He intended man and woman to be partners. The mear fact that Jesus told Martha to stop worrying about the little stuff and feed your soul. Should be enough to know that we have to attend to our own needs. Not to the exclusion of everything else, but so we can do everything else with a cheerful heart. So we can be better servants for his Kingdom. Because face it, what happens when we try to do too much? WE BECOME BITTER, ANGRY. Can a bitter angry person be an effective tool for God’s Kingdom? I tried it, it does not work.