#27 Take Care of Myself
Like the entry I wrote about doing chores, it should come as no surprise that every normal human being needs to devote time to taking care of themselves. Life cannot be maintained without certain essentials.
These essentials are part of my daily life. Not very exciting, but there it is. I eat food, drink water (and coffee, of course), sleep, go to the bathroom, and take showers (although not as many I as would like in this desert-like place).
I am definitely not one of those people who love to work out–I doubt I ever will be. However, I’ve slowly learned to make working out a discipline because my body is a gift that needs stewarding just like any other.
There are other necessary disciplines to maintain life–not physical, but spiritual. I’ve experienced first-hand that it is possible to do this ministry as a zombie–doing, serving, helping, teaching, walking…but dead. To avoid this we must be constantly drawing from True Life.
Dallas Willard has said that many people who are in the business of “making disciples” fail to intentionally work on “becoming disciples” themselves. He claims that the “single most obvious trait of those who profess Christ but do not grow into Christ-likeness is their refusal to take the reasonable and time-tested measures for spiritual growth.”
Ouch. Those “reasonable measures” as he calls them, take time. Time I sometimes feel that I don’t have. Time I fill with doing “good things.” Time that gets away from me. Or worse yet, time I acknowledge that I have, but am too tired and overwhelmed to use on the one thing that would feed, benefit, and refresh me.
That is where I am at right now. This month, this week, today… I am too tired to do the things that bring true life, and frankly too tired to care. That is dangerous ground on which to stand, if you can call it standing at all. When we find ourselves here, we need to get back to basics: eat things that nourish, sleep in patterns that rejuvenate, make our muscles move in ways that bring strength, and–most importantly–draw from Abundant Life.
In exactly six days (but who’s counting) I will be on vacation. It will take a strong kind of discipline to make that time off count towards a good recharging. A recharge that is not brought to us by bingeing Netflix and eating take-out, no matter how pleasant those might be after months and months out in the middle of nowhere. A recharge not accomplished by sitting on the beach sipping lemonade, although that might not be a bad step. The true recharging will happen if I take the time to ensure that I am solidly plugged in, once again, to the Source of Power.