As kids, we did things that made us happy. No one had to ask us to be selfish with our time. That just came naturally. Now as adults, we want to do our stuff and more out of a compulsion to look good on paper, but at what cost?
Earlier this year, I said no to a volunteer opportunity. I knew I couldn’t take it on but felt so flattered to be asked. I took a few days, not to pray about it, but to work up the nerve to turn it down. They thought of me!
More recently I left a volunteer group that I had never really been that involved with, and it still filled me with such dread. Saying no to these things initially gives me a feeling of shame and embarrassment. I must not be enough to be able to do this and everything else. But I just have to remember these aren’t the right fit for my place in life right now.
We come at these at the wrong angle. I am not here to just fill up my time with projects. I need to be doing the right projects. In a few weeks we hope to have a school age child move in with us. This child will have court hearings, visitations, and doctor appointments. Their care will take up my time and patience in a way nothing else has. A few years ago, fostering was not something I was able to invest in, but the time has come.
At one of our home visits, the woman said I will need an outlet, the way my husband has tennis. Now, I had been thinking this and looking for something. Why is it that it takes someone else telling me to take care of myself before I do it? Days after being told I should find something, I signed up for 5 yoga classes on Groupon. Yoga has been something I have been wanting to try in a class, but I didn’t do anything about it until now.
All of us do this in some way. We don’t eat right or quit smoking until a doctor tells us it is life or death. We don’t begin counseling until we can’t sleep anymore or our past torments us. And we don’t seek God until our lives are in ruins. Waiting until the last minute to do something we know we should do doesn’t help anyone. Whether the reason we hold off is pride, guilt, shame, or plain old fear doesn’t matter. God wants us to take care of the bodies, minds, and souls He gave us. We should have respect for them and not run them into the ground.
Life is short. There is much we can do while we are here, but what is the right thing? Only you know that for yourself.
Linking with Holley Gerth