November 17-18, 2007
by Charles R. Swindoll
Well, we are eleven months into the year. Throughout the past months we’ve reaffirmed the significance of pacing ourselves and not allowing the tyranny of the urgent to blind us to the value of the important.
Well . . . how’s it going? Pause long enough to review and reflect as you answer these questions.
Is my pace this year really that different from last year?
Am I enjoying most of my activities or just enduring them?
Have I deliberately taken time on several occasions this year for personal restoration?
Do I give myself permission to relax, to have leisure?
Would other people think I am working too many hours and/or living under too much stress?
Do I consider my body important enough to maintain a nourishing diet, to give it regular exercise, to get enough sleep, to shed those excess pounds?
How is my sense of humor?
Is God being glorified by the schedule I keep . . . or is He getting the leftovers of my energy?
Renewal and restoration are not luxuries; they are essentials. Being alone and resting for a while is not selfish; it is Christlike (see Mark 6:30-32). Taking your day off each week and rewarding yourself with a relaxing, refreshing vacation is not carnal; it’s spiritual. Nor is an ultra-busy schedule necessarily the mark of a productive life.
If you are courageous enough to make needed changes, you will show yourself wise. But I should warn you of three barriers you will immediately face.
First, by saying no to the people to whom you used to say yes, you’ll feel twinges of guilt. Ignore them! Second, most folks won’t understand your slower pace, especially those who are in the sinking boat you just stepped out of. Stick to your guns. Third, by not filling every spare moment with activity, you will begin to see the real you, and you’ll not like some of the things you observe, things that once contaminated your busy life. But within a relatively brief period of time, you will turn the corner and be well on the road to a happier, healthier, freer, and more fulfilling life.
My desire is that all of us remain “in.” In balance. In our right minds. In good health. In the will of God.
Don’t allow the tyranny of the urgent to blind you to the value of the important.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.