We often think that unselfishness means sacrificing our own needs for the needs of others, that the time we have chosen to relax is a selfish act. In fact, we need to spend some time in peaceful rest, appreciating the blessings that God has given us to enjoy.
The world today is fast-paced, and if you allow the world to take hold of you and suck you into its whirlpool, it is really hard to swim to the surface. When we miss opportunities to “get a grip” and catch up on those things for which we have fallen behind, it takes a very long time and a lot of effort to “get back in the groove.”
I have had this happen to me this very year, the year 2018. It seems, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” (Lewis Carroll).
Do you ever look back at the year and say, “Where did all the time go?” (I would not believe anyone who says they never say that.) First it is January, and then we blink twice, and now it is December. I have finally figured out that this happens to me because I do not allow enough time for myself. I tend to try to pack everything I can into one day.
There is a scripture in the Bible that says, “How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Brother, Sister, let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You deceive yourselves! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.” (Luke 6:42) This teaches us that first, we must take care of ourselves before we can help others.
This is a hard lesson to learn. It doesn’t seem to be intuitive to many of us. There is always someone less fortunate or having a harder time than we are. All it takes is to open our eyes to see the needs of others; and in helping others, we recognize the rich blessings available to us. It is important to serve others, to help others every day. However, it is not unselfish to try to help others if we do not first take care of ourselves. When we are bogged down with too much baggage, this causes us to fail in our own obligations, and then our help becomes useless to others.
So, be good to yourself. Rest. Relax. Smell the roses. Enjoy living. Take care.
• • •
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
— Hebrews 4:9-11