Take Time for Yourself
"He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams." Psalm 23:2 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Hurry sickness not only affects our relationship with God; it also takes a toll on our physical and emotional well-being. God does not want our lives to be controlled by busyness. He wants us to rest in green meadows and walk beside peaceful streams.
Picture yourself moving step-by-step through a typically busy—even frantic—day. Does your body tense just thinking about it? Does your mind shoot off in a dozen directions thinking of things you need to do? Putting ourselves through this kind of daily pressure is a choice. Yes, all of us have responsibilities that we need to fulfill. But when we let those responsibilities take control of our lives, we lose the rest and peace that God intends for us. The rest and peace that we need for our spirit, soul, and body.
Hurry sickness produces stress. A short list of the effects of stress includes digestive problems, headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, obesity, and heart disease. This is not God's plan for us.
During His walk on earth, Jesus recognized the need for solitude—and He taught His disciples to take time for themselves.
Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile." He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. Mark 6:31-32 NLT
Imagine yourself living out the picture in today's scripture. Lying in a green meadow—resting. Sauntering beside a peaceful stream. No pressures. No phone ringing. No to-do lists.
Each person's meadow and stream might look a little different. Sitting in a quiet spot reading a good book. Going out for a relaxed dinner. Hiking along rugged trails. Painting a picture. The list is endless. The important thing is to set time aside for yourself doing something you enjoy. Get away from the chaos regularly. You may think you can't afford the time away from your responsibilities. The truth is, this time of respite will help you handle your responsibilities more efficiently—and with much less stress.
Take time for yourself!
Father, I am tired. I am tense so much of the time—irritable with those I love. I know you want me to rest. To experience your peace. Please teach me to take time for myself so I will be healthier spirit, soul, and body. So I will take care of my responsibilities more effectively. So I will be more sensitive to others' needs. So I will live a life more pleasing and productive for You. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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