How often do you feel like there are things that you should be doing that you just aren’t? Or are there things that you know you should stop doing because they aren’t helping you be who you want to be? Or are there good things that get in the way of what is best in your life? I get it. This cognitive dissonance is all too familiar, frequent, and discouraging for me.
I’m an idealist and an enthusiast and I want to do so many things and grow in a lot of areas, more than I can ever do even if I do get more time on earth through a healthy Adventist lifestyle. The clock feels like an enemy. Time seems to be speeding up and leaving me behind. Yet I’m not ready to throw my hands up and give up the race either. So I try again. But the cycle of ambition, distraction, and feeling like a failure is tiresome and even anxiety-inducing. Can you relate?
So what do we do?
I just enjoyed a webinar about mental health led by Benjamin Lundquist and Aaron Rosales who is an expert in the field. There was a part that Aaron shared that just felt like gold to me. It may be familiar but it is oh so relevant and I hope it will be helpful for you as we go into the Sabbath and have an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where God is leading.
I and many pastors from around the world were encouraged to take care of ourselves. To take walks, exercise, contemplate, breathe. Do all the healthy things we know we should, self-care.
But Aaron said there was a deeper level, that is even more important than checking all the boxes required for a healthy life. He said that when we take action based on our values it gives us the deepest vitality and connection to God’s call on our life. That when we are in sync with what matters the very most to us we will flourish.
Do self-care, but don’t view it as a checklist, a diet for your brain. Rather, spend time regularly in prayer and reflection to get clear about what matters most and what God is calling you to do, and then do it. If lesser priorities don’t get done you will likely be ok with it. God only gives each of us 24 hours a day. Schedule your priorities and do what matters most when you are at your best.
At the very least ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do today that serves what matters most in my life?” As Christians, we might ask, “What is God’s best will for me?” Then make a prayerful resolution to do it. This practice is even more helpful to do at the end of the day and remember, small wins add up to big wins.
Keep the main thing the main thing. Do first things first. Seek first the kingdom of God.
We’ve heard these things.
But have we taken time to prayerfully do them?
God is more gracious than you can fathom. God can redeem the past and lead us into a much better and brighter future.
There are things we will leave behind. But we won’t miss them because we will be pursuing what we were created for. When you have that, or should I say, when you embrace God first and foremost, You will break the cycle and enter His freedom.
Will you take a step closer to God and His best for you today? - Pastor Nick