Every now and then I get to a point where I realise how important it is to take regular care of myself. I’m good at making excuses, e.g. I’m too busy, I’m too sore, it’s too cold. I think everyone is, particularly those who are involved in a lot of ministries. We convince ourselves that it is selfish to spend time going for a run, sitting and doing nothing, taking a day off, sleeping in.
But God tells us to rest. Even though the command to observe the Sabbath rest was given in the Old Testament (and I’m pretty sure no one still practices the consequences of killing those who disobey), I’m pretty sure it’s still a command that Christians would be wise and obedient to follow. I’m not quite sure what the Sabbath rest is meant to look like (I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be devoted to the Lord – does this mean we should spend the whole day praying and reading our bibles?)
But I’m slowly learning what is restful for me, even apart from a “Sabbath” day. I’ve worked out that resting does not include spending hours on the internet (so I suppose right now I’m not resting). It may include spending time with friends, though I think I need to limit it to one or two engagements on a weekend, and every three or four weeks it’s helpful to not have anything on. Ally time may include reading, sitting outside in the sun, being crafty, cooking, spending a few extra hours in my pyjamas, soaking in a hot bath.
When I don’t get this time to myself, and particularly when I’m not looking after my physical well-being, the feeling of general weariness slowly increases until I am not so able to cope with seeing people or meeting my responsibilities, which in turn makes me upset and guilty, and makes me more tired and unable to do things. And it doesn’t help my godliness.
Then there’s working out how to manage my responsibilities. Some things I’ve committed to are harder than others and I am torn between continuing for the sake of encouraging others, or stepping back for the sake of serving by not being my unhelpful self when I’m tired and grumpy, but at the cost of relationships.
Right now I’m tossing up between doing my evening pilates exercises, or just going to sleep. I am warm in by bed and very tired, but I have a feeling that pilates will help me sleep better and make tomorrow a better day. Starting is the hardest part.