Dear Church Family,
Summer is soon coming to an end, school has begun again, and vacation time and the lazy days of summer are about over. (Were they really lazy days?! I don’t know about you, but I had a pretty busy summer! There was a lot going on over the summer at our churches and in the community.)
But all of this got me thinking about how we care for ourselves and take the time that we need to renew our bodies, minds, and spirits. Self-care is not something that is self-centered or selfish. Self-care is important if we are to continue to serve others and God in a meaningful way. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Even Jesus took time to rest and renew, to spend time alone with God, and to fill his own cup so that he could continue his ministry. One example was after the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14. Verse 23 tells us that “after he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Jesus sets an important example for us in this story because too often we try to continue, even when we are exhausted, because we think that our work is too important or necessary for us to stop and take a break. No work is more important than that which Jesus was doing in his ministry while he was living his earthly life, and yet, Jesus took time away to renew his body, mind, and spirit.
That doesn’t mean we should become lazy and not attend to the work that needs to be done, but it does mean that it is important to take some time for self-care, for renewal, and for rest. Maybe take some time to go on a nature walk, away from the everyday busyness of the world. Or turn off all the electronics and spend some time in devotional reading and prayer. Or have a cup of coffee or tea (or if you are like me, hot chocolate!) and sit outside in silence and meditation as you watch the sunrise or sunset. Do whatever works for you, but take the time to sit in God’s presence, to appreciate God’s creation, and to allow yourself to be filled so that you can continue the work to which God has called you.
In Christ’s Love and Service,