Tending the Temple

Sustaining Self-Care

I know what I “should” to do to take care of myself. I should go to bed at a decent hour and get plenty of rest. I should start my day off with breakfast instead of pushing myself on an empty stomach toward a late afternoon lunch. I should read and pray daily. I should plan the meals and use my calendar. I should clean up after myself as I go about my activities instead of letting the clutter and dishes pile up. And I should do it every day.

I can do any and even all of this sometimes, every once in a while. But I can’t seem to sustain it day after day for any length of time before I crash and burn.

I was praying about this problem, and the answer I got back from God was something like, “Who says you should try to sustain it?”

And my response was something like, “Well, if I don’t sustain it, then my life becomes unmanageable. And people are depending on me.”

To which God clearly said, “Oh really? Last time I looked, they were dependent on ME.”

I am not God. I need to remember that.

However, I am God’s servant. So I composed a prayer to help remind me of that.

God,
There are people I love and care about who are depending on you,
Who, in Your grace and wisdom,
have designated me as Your servant to them.
Please help me to take care of myself today
So that I may serve them and You the best that I can today.
Help me to focus on the tasks of today
And let You worry about tomorrow.
Amen.

I don’t have to sustain it for more than 24 hours. The actions I take today will eventually form the habits that, over time, will begin to form me (at least, this is my hope). The sustaining will take care of itself as long as I just focus on the present moment and the immediate tasks in front of me.

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