I have had a jam-packed three days with a few added stressors, like an oven fire and my son’s asthma attack thrown in. I don’t hold up well under such circumstances, so three days is about all I can take without turning into either the Wicked Witch of the West or a weeping, wailing woman of worry. Since I already know that three days is my limit when it comes to a crazy calendar of commitments, I am thankful that I scheduled a very low-key three days following our chaos.
I love that God created the whole world in 6 days, and then kicked back and enjoyed it. He just rested. Do you think that God Almighty needed that rest? Nope. Do you think He was setting an example for us? Yep. We are slow learners on way too many things.
As I write this, today is a Sabbath–a day that is traditionally set aside for rest and worship. As a Christian, I am not under all of the tedious Old Testament laws of the Jewish Sabbath, but I still have the opportunity to follow the beautiful example of God Himself and rest. In addition to that, as an American, I have the freedom of choosing to worship with other believers. This is an incredible privilege.
Americans have the liberating combination of two things much of the rest of the world does not have. We have the freedom to worship when, where and how we choose and we have the privilege of choosing to rest. We have access to so many conveniences that make our labor minimal. We also have access to food that we do not have to hunt, grow, harvest or process ourselves. So little of our time is relegated to the true basics of survival. Some of us may choose those things, but we always have a back-up plan on days when we are sick, tired or lazy. We need to remember how very, very fortunate we are.
Who are we to whine about our schedules and our stress levels when we are the ones who so often invite it into our lives by over-booking our days and neglecting to allow time to re-fuel? We complain about the luxuries we don’t have and forget to give thanks for all of the luxuries we already enjoy. I sometimes wonder if we even know the difference between a luxury and a need anymore! If your house caught fire and you could grab two things on your way out the door, what would you grab? I would grab my children and my husband! (Yes, I know that I could not technically grab four people and classify them as things, but this is my blog, so work with me for a minute.) Know what else? If my little family was able to stand with me in the yard while we watched the house that my husband built burn to the ground, I would consider myself blessed indeed. I would be giving thanks continually for God’s goodness and provision. Why, then, am I so concerned about all of this other stuff any other time? What are my priorities?
Life is short. We already know that. Live like it.
Challenge: Make a list of your priorities. What is truly most important to you in this phase of life? What do you want for you marriage? For your children? For your future? For your faith? Determine what those things are and start planning to live according to them. If you need to re-work your commitments for next year, do it. If you need to make sure you get more sleep, do it. If you need to get plugged in to a Bible study or church, do it. You are leaving a legacy.