The Gift of Space
By Aubrey Way
During a heavy, stressful season of work a few years ago, I began experiencing back pain. Assuming I'd slept on it wrong, I went about normal life, impatiently waiting for the pain to disappear.
Months before, I’d made plans with our city’s ultimate frisbee team to travel across the country and play in a tournament. As the tournament drew closer, the pain remained and I wasn't sure I'd be able to play. But with tickets already purchased, I decided to go anyway.
At the time, our kids were 5 and 2. A weekend away was no small thing. And the weekend was the only time I could give my wife a much-needed (and deserved) break.
Yet she graciously forwent this break in order to give me the space to leave town and play a game for two days.
Surprisingly (to me), the long hours of strenuous activity at this tournament did not result in soreness, exhaustion, and further injury (well, there was a little soreness). Instead, I experienced my stress melting away and my back being totally restored.
I hadn't realized my back pain was stress-induced. Without the chance to step away, I wonder how long it would've taken me to make that connection—and what kind of physiological, mental, and emotional consequences I would have faced as a result.
In freeing me up to step away for a bit, my wife put my interests above her own. She thought she was making a sacrifice for the sake of something fun but frivolous, but God used it to accomplish something necessary and restorative.
The Good Stuff: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)
Action Points: Could your spouse use a break? Think of one chore or activity you can take off their plate this week to give them space to rest.
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