Monday Musings for 2.22.21

 

Dear Friends,

I often preach sermons in a series, like the “Jesus 101” series that started yesterday.  This may be the first time I’ve done a Monday Musings series.  I am giving you ten things to give up for Lent. Here are the ones you may have missed the last two weeks:

1) Give up complaining.

2) Give up comparisons.

3) Give up striving ambition.

4) Give up people-pleasing.

5) Give up not accepting other people’s experiences as true.

6) Give up self-centeredness.

I was going to give you the final four today, but I think I’ll give you two today and two next Monday.  (I want to milk this series for all it’s worth!)

7) Give up neglecting self-care.  You hear me mention Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits book a lot, because I think it is a great and timeless book.  Habit 7 is “Sharpen the Saw.”

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to cut down a tree.  

“What are you doing?” you ask.

“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply.  “I am sawing down this tree.”

“You look exhausted!” you exclaim.  “How long have you been at it?”

“Over five hours,” he replies, “and I’m beat.  This is hard work.”

“Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inquire.  “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”

“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically.  “I’m too busy sawing!”

Self-care is easy to neglect.  We are too busy taking care of others.  Or we have important work that needs doing that can’t wait.  Or maybe, we’re just lazy.  Getting motivated to do anything at all is our problem.

Promise me you will do something today that meets two criteria:  (1) You enjoy it and (2) it is good for you.  Sharpen your saw.  Life goes so much better that way.

8) Give up anxiety and worry.  Some have a clinical diagnosis that requires medication and therapy.  It is wonderful what can be done to help people who carry this cross.  Many do.  But all of us would do well to remember the words of Jesus:

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? . . . Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6: 27,26)

The best form of self-care is to spend time every day with God.  Give him your worries.  Give him your troubles.  Breathe out your stress.  Breathe in his love.

God is faithful.  In these days when so many are asking, “Who can I trust?” there is an answer.  You can trust God.

In Christ,

 

John