Friday, August 19, 2011
Caring Too Much?
Drawing a Line in the Sand
It seems that the time has come for us to draw a line around our hearts, around our marriage, and create a safe space for ourselves to grow, again. With a good man by your side, it is not hard to find that space. But even if the Lord is filling all those spaces in your life and heart, I'd say He'll do a darn good job too....the best job, and then falling in line behind His perfect work comes spouses, friends, colleagues and the like, who look out for us when we are giving, shall I say it? ....too much of ourselves?
Having spent several years working as a special needs paraprofessional, it was easy to go through phases of caring so much for my students, that I forgot to care for myself. As Christians, especially, it seems easy to allow this to become a false godliness, where we insist we need nothing, want nothing, and will do it all ourselves, thank you very much! That is where idolatry starts to seep in, I believe. The lie that we don't need God, and that His finished work on the cross was not enough to pay the price for all the sin and ills of this world [including whatever mission you may be on right now!] It is only as I give myself space to draw from the extravagant riches of Christ, that I will have something worth giving to whomever comes into my path. And when my well is dry, something is wrong.
We all have different ways to fill up our tank, so to speak. And just like any car, whether new, used, or the President's limo, it needs gas, or it won't go anywhere. For some, it is a weekend away, for others, it is a quiet moment with tea and a good book. For me, it is plenty of time with good friends and family, people whom I know will encourage me and build me up in Christ. Without these times of rest and reflection, we lose perspective, and we lose our effectiveness in serving those we are called to serve.
And so my challenge to myself, as well as to anyone who finds their sails to be flagging, is to find those times to refuel, on the everlasting Grace of God. I once had a roommate who challenged me, in the midst of my overcommitted college years, that I 'couldn't be Jesus Christ'! And she was right. We are called to walk in the footsteps of Christ as we live, love, and serve sacrificially, but because of Christ, we do not have to suffer death for our sins, and live lives that require every ounce of our energy. There is margin....a little margin because we are grateful for the Cross, and can live in the peace and rest of our Eternal Savior.
Which is just what I am going to do today!