Have you ever had one of those weeks where you got to a Friday, and you were just worn out completely? Have you gotten to the end of the week and looked back at what you ate, what you spent, what you watched, what you read, what you accomplished, what you put off….and thought, “What am I doing with my life?!” Or even worse, “Who cares? I’m tired.”
Happen to notice the word I used most in that paragraph, by any chance? I used it 8 times, and it might be the key to why we get to the end of a week like this, look back, and just have to feel a little twinge of regret. It’s the word:
I had a week like this. It was Mother’s Day on Sunday and I worked hard to preach a sermon in church. I had spent the previous week studying God’s word, walking in the morning, praying and listening to hear what He had to say to and through me as I spoke to the congregation on that special Sunday morning. I tried so carefully to be surrounded by his nature and beauty, to be so wrapped up in his word that I couldn’t miss the lessons he wanted to teach and even as I was just preparing, I was focused on worshiping Him. I sat at his feet almost all week long. And it was just delicious.
Since it was Mother’s Day that same Sunday, I also spent the week thinking about my mom and the mothers in my life that I couldn’t wait to celebrate. There were gifts to buy and cards of love and thanks to write. Even our kids were on my mind more as I thought of all the reasons that Mother’s Day is special to me.
So, after the sermon was preached and the lunch with the moms in my life was eaten, I was left alone for the afternoon. Left alone with ME. I thought I “deserved” some indulgences of my own after all that hard work and giving of myself. I indulged in my favorite foods and hobbies that I hadn’t had time for the week before. It was harmless, mindless, and….yummy. For a moment.
A few days of this lazy and indulgent attitude finally caught up with me one morning. I had slammed the snooze button for the 5th time and, for the 5th time, rolled over and felt the fog in my head that wouldn’t let me open my eyes to start the day. But suddenly my son, Sam, was there next to my bed, announcing that he had just returned from an amazing morning walk.
He was so chipper and awake! And excited to share with me that he had walked around the block, stopped to take a few pictures with our family Tracphone of the sunrise, listened to the birds, breathed in the fresh air….he was pleasant and happy the whole day long after that. It’s just how I was the week before! I remembered the joy of starting my day listening to the Lord and the birds and the air and giving my day to HIM. But there I lay after days of “me me me”, a groggy lump.
The difference between spending my days focused on the Lord, his people, and everyone BUT just me, and then spending a week on myself and what I wanted….it was night and day different. One week was life-giving, and another week was completely exhausting and life-draining. It took so much more out of me to spend time on ME, than spending time with JESUS thinking of OTHERS. I ate junk, I watched junk, I did the junk I wanted. And it wore me out! But that week before, I was energized by focusing outward. My health was better, my heart was happy, my head was clear. Because I was looking OUT. And UP.
I am glad I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I know there needs to be a good balance in my life, and I’m glad my 12 year old inspired me. And I’m most glad that God’s mercies are new every morning. I can’t wait to start again, I’m done with ME for today.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others….
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. –
I Cor 10:23-24, 31