Scheduled maintenance is an essential aspect of being a car owner. Without regular appointments to change our oil, check our spark plugs, clean the air filter and replace our tires, our vehicle will not perform as well as it could and, over time, could even break down completely.
In my busyness between work, consulting, family, and church responsibilities, I neglected my car's scheduled maintenance appointments. I would put them off and forget about them because I was just too busy. But one day, my engine had enough and my car was rendered useless. If I had taken short bursts of time to schedule a tune-up and oil change, there would have been significantly less damage, the process might have taken only an hour to complete, and the expense would have been minimal. But my neglect of simple maintenance ended up costing me a week without a car and thousands of dollars.
As car owners, it's important to keep in mind that regular maintenance not only keeps our vehicle running smoothly but it also saves us from costly repairs and unexpected breakdowns in the long run. The same should be said for our faith. If we don’t take the time to rest in the Lord, we get frustrated, judgmental, and end up breaking down when our emotional fuel has been spent. I’m talking about burnout. So incase you haven’t figured it out, this is not a lesson about caring for your vehicle, it’s a lesson on self-care.
We are a busy bunch! As individuals who serve in pregnancy centers and also at home, in church, and in our communities, we take on multiple roles. We are leaders, teachers, parents, spouses, and caretakers. We are constantly on the go and often wear our busyness as a badge of honor. Why do we do these things? Most of us serve out of reverence for the Lord. We want to honor him with our lives. But offering our lives to Christ doesn't just equate to acts of service and self abasement. Part of truly honoring Him is to obey all of His commands. One of which is to "come" and "rest".
While we may make time for Sunday services, short devotions and quick prayers throughout the day, we may not be taking enough time to simply "be" with Jesus. We may ask Him to be a part of our day, but we don't necessarily give ourselves the opportunity to sit still and allow Him to pour into our hearts. We make requests and ask Him to speak to us, but then we don't stop "serving" long enough to hear His still, small voice clearly. We cannot afford to live our lives "for Him" but not rest "in Him".
Matthew 11:28-30 says "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”. I so love The Message paraphrase. It really speaks to my soul. "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
If this article resonates at all, then I would encourage you to begin to reset some priorities and boundary lines. Make a plan to implement short, productive pauses throughout your work day and begin to take time to posture yourself to hear from God; maybe even invite your staff to do it with you. This will be a good place to start: simply set aside one minute, twice each work day of intentional time to just close your eyes, tell God you love Him, take a few deeps breaths and ask Him to fill you. I guarantee if you put this into practice, your day will be more peaceful.
As always, I'm praying with you. Now go get some more Jesus!