If You Don’t Make Yourself a Priority, Then You Become A Liability

Wow!  Sometimes when a friend makes a statement, you really take notice.  The title of this blog comes from a conversations with one of my dearest friends.

You may note the long stretch of time between posts on this blog.  That was never my purpose.  Like a lot of moms, I got especially busy with the Annual Event known as the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.  Plus my family planned a vacation to leave the day school released.   It was glorious, but came at a price.  As I write this, I am sitting on my couch recovering from a very nasty stomach bug and migraine.  I think my body just shut down.

I overextended myself with projects beyond my normal busy routine.  There were end of year parties, teacher gifts, end of year programs,  term papers, and for the first time for our family, middle school finals.  It was a blur.  I did some good things, but I let some great and important things slide – like devotions times and praying.  Oops.  I am not proud of that, but it is changing.

So when my friend called to check on me and we were talking about how our lives were so busy and she said, “If you don’t make yourself a priority, then you become a liability.”   RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES.   God spoke, and He spoke BIG.  We must take care of ourselves if we are to be useful to our families or friends or our ministry.  We must plan for rest as much as we plan for other things.  If we do not, then we never find the time for it.  We must make ourselves a priority.  Or, something can happen such as an illness and we are no longer as useful or our families.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I do take care of myself:  I work out with a friend.  I take care of myself: a regular haircut, a massage when needed, nails and pedicure and regular girlfriend time.  What I have neglected for the longest time was what I needed the most:  The practice of being present with myself.  My counselor calls it mindfulness.   Sometimes it looks like this:  Turning down the radio to settle your mind.  Sitting outside to listen to nature.  Waiting in the parking lot for a few minutes to gather your thoughts.  A walk or a run.  It is different for everyone.   It is through this practice of mindfulness that I spend time with my Creator.   I am mindful of Who I Am and To Whom I Belong.   God speaks the most intimately to me during those times.  It is something He longs to do with me.

So this June I plan to treat myself to the right kind of me time.  Quality time with myself and with God.  One of my favorite pieces of scripture is this one:  1 Kings 19 (Good News Translation)   The Old Testament prophet Elijah had a great spiritual victory, and then things changed drastically.

King Ahab told his wife Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had put all the prophets of Baal to death. 2 She sent a message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don’t do the same thing to you that you did to the prophets.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life; he took his servant and went to Beersheba in Judah.

Leaving the servant there,  Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It’s too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!”   He lay down under the tree and fell asleep.  Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat.”   He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again.   The Lord’s angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.”   Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain.   There he went into a cave to spend the night.

Suddenly the Lord spoke to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”

He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me!”

“Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,” the Lord said to him. Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks—but the Lord was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake there was a fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice.

When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”

He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me.”

The Lord said, “Return to the wilderness near Damascus, then enter the city and anoint Hazael as king of Syria; anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet…”

Yeah, it is a long passage but I love how God spoke to Elijah in the quiet, not the storms.  Summer is a great time to slow down or to speed up.

What will you do?

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